In the early centuries of the Church, many Christians were led into the silence and solitude of the desert by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. There, they found an ideal setting for a life of prayer and spiritual combat in imitation of Christ. Today, these conditions are provided by monasteries, especially those where papal enclosure ensures an effective separation from the world.
For the contemplative, solitude with God is in fact a means of solidarity with her contemporaries, and union with Him allows her to be spiritually present to all. Because the power of God is infinite, the contemplative’s prayers are able to reach all times and places, even the most distant and inaccessible.
In the words of Saint John Paul II, “The monastery is the prophetic place where creation becomes praise of God and the precept of concretely lived charity becomes the ideal of human coexistence; it is where the human being seeks God without limitation or impediment, becoming a reference point for all people, bearing them in his heart and helping them to seek God” (May 2, 1995).
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