Christian Counseling: The Life of Solitude in Christian Thought
Christians Counselors and Mystics understand the value of solitude and peace. St. Teresa of Avila found it essential in contemplative formation. Solitude is in many ways, the spiritual fortress Christians retreat to in order to heal and reconvene with their master, Christ. As St. Teresa learned though, Christian solitude while necessary for formation is only temporary, for the Gospel of Christ is a social Gospel to spread and care for one’s brothers and sisters. Christ recreates us with his grace and utilizes us for his purpose. Solitude and peace is only temporary for it is the forging period of one’s soul to later make disciples of all nations.
How Does Solitude Help
Solitude frees one from the occasions of sin and the noises of the world. It removes the social character of our human nature and forces one to look deep within. The spiritual mirror of our soul does not lie or offer excuses, it reflects what we truly are. In contemplation of solitude, our soul wears no mask or pretends to be something it is not, for we are confronted with what we truly are. We are stripped of our colors and fronts and exposed for all our weakness. In this solittude, we discover truth and in truth we discover humility.
In this stricken moment, the soul in solitude can only look one place for comfort and peace; Christ. Christ acknowledges what we are but through his grace elevates us and transforms us. As a sword being forged, in solitude, Christ forges us. He speaks to us, elevates us and transforms us into his disciples.
Without solitude and peace, we cannot find ourselves. We will always be distracted by the world and its lies. We will not find who we truly are because we will be too busy trying to be someone else. Solitude gives us that opportunity to find ourselves.
Christian Counselors should recommend retreats for their spiritual children. At retreat, a person has time to fall back from the world and focus on one’s spiritual and true self. They can see what wrong turns they may have made and correct these faults. Most importantly, people can reconnect with Christ and truly see what matters most.
If you are interested in learning more about Christian counseling, please review the program.
Mark Moran, MA