Lent~ Sunday~March 4


Step away from the hullaboo of everyday life today. Take an hour for yourself, with nothing but a Bible, a notebook, and a pretty pen. If you can do this outside, all the better. It's Sunday; it's okay if this feels a little like a treat.



But, besides that mental solitude to which you may retreat, even amidst the greatest conversation, as I have hitherto observed, [P. ii. ch. 12], you ought also to love local and real solitude: not that you should go into the desert, as St. Mary of Egypt, St. Paul, St. Anthony, St. Arsenius, and the other ancient solitaries, did; but that you should remain for some time alone by yourself in your chamber or garden, or in some other place, where you may at leisure withdraw your spirit into your heart, and recreate your soul with pious meditations, holy thoughts, or spiritual reading. St. Gregory Nazianzen, speaking of himself, says, "I walked with myself about sunset, and passed the time upon the sea-shore; for I am accustomed to use this recreation to refresh myself, and to shake off a little my ordinary troubles; and afterwards he relates the pious reflections he made, which I have already mentioned. St. Austin relates, that often going into the chamber of St. Ambrose, who never denied entrance to any one, he found him reading, and that after having remained awhile, for fear of interrupting him, he departed again without speaking a word, thinking that the little time that remained to this great pastor for recreating his spirit, after the hurry of his various affairs, should not be taken from him. And when the apostles one day had told our Lord how they had preached, and how much they had done, he said to them, [Mark vi. 13]: "Come ye apart into a desert place, and rest a little." TAKEN FROM INTRODUCTION TO A DEVOUT LIFE by St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church



As you grow comfortable spending time alone and recognizing who you are right down to your core--when it's just you and God, without the impressions of the people around you--give that authentic self to the people you love. God gave the people in your care to the authentic you He created specifically for that purpose. Don't give them anything different; it's not His will.