|Actions & Interactions
We serve our community and the world through our life consecrated to prayer, silence and solitude. But these are tools, not ends in themselves. Their function is to create a space for a deeper and more constant conversation with God.
Sr. Corby and Br. Jude at prayer before
his Solemn Vows - East Coast Gathering 2012
More accurately we should say “prayerful presence.” We aim to pray always as the Apostle Paul suggests. The concrete details of how to prayerfully go to the supermarket or drive on the freeway are the very work which a solitary must engage in. There are no formulas for this.
Even with our mouths closed, we are hardly ever silent. Our eyes dart to and fro, our mind races forward into a fantastical future and backwards into an imagined past. We are hardly ever just present to the moment. Yet it is in this very moment where silence and healing are to be found. So our work is to constantly strive to be where Christ is, here and now.
Just as Our Lord blessed the poor in spirit
(while clearly not suggesting that being destitute,
hungry, and homeless were noble ideals) so
too we take the meaning of “solitary” to be a person who, in the midst of their life, is profoundly aware
of being alone with God.
We carry our cloister in our hearts and our
monastic cell is wherever we are. We believe
the Lord is calling us to be a visible witness of
the eremitical life without a monastic enclosure.
We place emphasis on the centrality of the Holy
Eucharist. Following Romuald, we dedicate
much time to the “one way” of recitation of the psalter.
Sr. Elizabeth Rose teaching yoga at the YMCA
Br. Jordan preparing for Offices
|The Divine Offices
We all have different tastes and spiritual inclinations. Therefore, we do not restrict recitation of the offices to any one version. Some use the offices from the Book of Common Prayer, some use a traditional Roman breviary, others a different version, and some may have constructed their own Office book using the shape and form traditional to each office. It doesn’t matter which version is used. What matters is that you recite the office. We also place emphasis on “quality v. quantity” when praying the office. Sometimes life circumstances limit the number of offices one can recite on any given day. Rest assured the community supports you with their prayers when this occurs.
Apart from the Offices this is the single most important “weapon” in the arsenal of a solitary. A great part of the formation of the novice will be spent teaching and refining the practice of Lectio, until it becomes second nature. Fundamentally, lectio is to be a time where the individual seeks the Heart of Christ in the Gospels, learning directly from the Master how to become fully human.
|A visible witness - Habits
Life circumstances vary among us. We offer the option of wearing the Holy Habit wherever and whenever it is appropriate. As we do not hold any property or possessions in common, the Holy Habit is purchased by each member.
Br. Tikhon making his Solemn Vows in July 2014
| Admission to the
Community of Solitude requires that one have a good understanding of our
way of life. Formation in the community is self directed, in concert
with a mentor from the vowed ranks. If one already has a tradition of
prayer and solitude in their life you may be called to join with us.
1. Contact a member of the Guardian Council and initiate a discernment process or just chat to get to know us and understand better what we’re all about.
2. Talk to your spiritual director about your journey toward an “interior/inward” way of life.
3. Read about and reflect on the Camaldolese way of life and the vows of Conversion of Life, Stability in a life of prayer and Obedience to God’s Will.
4. Above all, talk to God…..PRAY!