Thursday, February 01, 2007

Solitude, Not Individualism

From inward outward this post on community.
The passage through the experience of solitude leads to a profound community life. The solitude of which I am speaking is something quite different from individualism. In individualism there is a large measure of withdrawal at the level of thoughts and interests, in order to ensure a life of quiet privacy. Others may come and knock on the door, but if the individualist opens to them, it is as one who does a favor, as one who graciously adds, so to speak, a community aspect to a Christian life that is self-sufficient without it. The experience of solitude, on the other hand, gives rise to a hunger for communion. There is an aloneness with oneself and with God that, however hard it may be to endure at certain times, is a requirement for authentic community.
We Drink From Our Own Wells, Gustavo Gutierrez

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