General Spirituality

Old Man, Why Are You Alone?

The boy approached his father, sat and questioned, ‘Old man, why are you alone? Why your solitude?’ The elder sighed, his breath light as the sky:

‘All the world is one, beloved,

kept entire in the hand of God.

Solitude is an illusion,

a fleeting vision;

for when one is still

he is never alone.

‘And yet the world turns,

turns with haste toward its ends—

fleeting, fallen, manmade all.

And we, too, turn,

glancing here and there, with

vision rushed, blurred;

never one, but divided.

‘I am alone, beloved, for the sake

of our communion.

Only in solitude is stillness born,

only there is it nurtured—

that great gift by which we live.

Divine silence can be found but

when the heart is still:

alone in its quest,

alone with God.

Thus solitude brings quiet,

and quiet the stillness where

whispers cease,

and here, the voice of God.

‘Hear me well, dear boy:

my solitude is my communion;

alone, we are together.

In solitude I see Christ whole,

for I am wholly His.

By this vision I am transformed,

my eyes at last beholding Life,

and Life reviving the blood of my veins.

I am Adam, wailing alone before the gates.

I quiet my tears to hear God beside me

—and am healed.

‘Thus my solitude, thus am I alone:

to know the depth of Christ within

and heal all that is without.

For when in solitude I come to know God,

I am united to Him in love,

united to Him who fills all,

And my solitude becomes my communion,

as alone I embrace the world.’

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