Regina Caeli Hermitage.jpgBeing busy about many things affords one many distractions, which can be a good thing. Very often, being too busy and distracted offers no consolation and actually makes life less interesting, less thirsty for God, less able to hear the promptings of the Lord, less focused on substantial matters of life. Perhaps one can say less able to take serious our own reality. But life is not about measuring up to a standard as it is about a relationship, time spent in the company of the other person (though the other person be yourself).

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For the last 2 days I spent time in silence and solitude (with no community, no internet and barely phone service). My Franciscan Friars of the Renewal friends offered me one of their hermitages for two days of prayer, reading, nap time, and holy leisure: an opportunity for real education. The Friars have restored the Capuchin custom of the “desert day” once a month in order to spend time away from the normal routine to renew energies, to concentrate on the divine-human relationship and abandon the self to the Other –that is, to abandon oneself completely to God. The abandonment of self that is aimed for here is the self-gift, of love, where the more one abandons oneself in love the more love becomes a reality. The hermitage time reminds me of a something Msgr. Luigi Giussani said about poverty that I think is applicable here: “Poverty belongs then to the dynamic of knowledge, for which detachment is necessary to see things and then to use them and enjoy them more.”Wood Stove Regina Caeli.jpg