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Sermon Quotes

Solitude

Francis Bacon

The worst solitude is to be destitute of sincere friendship.

Richard J. Foster

Loneliness is inner emptiness. Solitude is inner fulfillment.

Robert Leighton

Solitude, silence, and the strait keeping of the heart, are the foundations and grounds of a spiritual life.

C.S. Lewis

We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.

The Weight of Glory

George MacDonald

Work is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness.

 

Stephanie Mills

Solitude is rich but seldom hilarious.

 

John Miller

People who take the time to be alone usually have depth, originality, and quiet reserve.

John Milton

Solitude sometimes is best society.

 

Michel de Montaigne

The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.

The Complete Essays

 

John Muir

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread.

 

Henri Nouwen

Solitude is the furnace of transformation. Without solitude we remain victims of our society and continue to be entangled in the illusions of the false self.

The Way of the Heart: The Spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers

 

Marcel Proust

Reading is that fruitful miracle of a communication in the midst of solitude.

Charles Spurgeon

There are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech. We should be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering through meditation on His Word spiritual strength for labour in his service. We ought to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them. . . . Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make but slow advances in the divine life? Because they neglect their closets, and do not thoughtfully meditate on God’s Word. They love the wheat, but they do not grind it; they would have the corn, but they will not go forth into the fields to gather it; the fruit hangs upon the tree, but they will not pluck it; the water flows at their feet, but they will not stoop to drink it. From such folly deliver us, O Lord. . . . 

William Temple

Your religion is what you do with your solitude

 

Paul Tillich

Language… has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone.

 

Simone Weil

In solitude we are in the presence of mere matter (even the sky, the stars, the moon, trees in blossom), things of less value (perhaps) than a human spirit. Its value lies in the greater possibility of attention.

 

G.K. Chesterton

Through all this ordeal his root horror had been isolation, and there are no words to express the abyss between isolation and having one ally. It may be conceded to the mathematicians that four is twice two. But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one. 

The Man Who Was Thursday

Henri Nouwen

Without solitude it is virtually impossible to live a spiritual life. … We do not take the spiritual life seriously if we do not set aside some time to be with God and listen to him.

M. Basil Pennington

God is infinitely patient. He will not push himself into our lives. He knows the greatest thing he has given us is our freedom. If we want habitually, even exclusively, to operate from the level of our own reason, he will respectfully keep silent. We can fill ourselves with our own thoughts, ideas, images, and feelings. He will not interfere. But if we invite him with attention, opening the inner spaces with silence, he will speak to our souls, not in words or concepts, but in the mysterious way that Love expresses itself-by by presence.

 Centered Living

Paul Tillich

“Language . . . has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone.”

Dallas Willard

The normal course of day-to-day human interactions locks us into patterns of feeling, thought, and action that are geared to a world set against God. Nothing but solitude can allow the development of a freedom from the ingrained behaviors that hinder our integration into God’s order.

The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives, HarperSanFrancisco.

Dallas Willard

The normal course of day-to-day human interactions locks us into patterns of feeling, thought, and action that are geared to a world set against God. Nothing but solitude can allow the development of a freedom from the ingrained behaviors that hinder our integration into God’s order.

The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives, HarperSanFrancisco.

Parker Palmer

Becoming totally quiet and unreachably alone are two of the signs that life has gone, while activity and lively communication not only signify life but help us evade the prospect that our life will someday cease.

“The Monastic Way to Church Renewal,” Desert Call (Winter 1987): 8–9.

Edward Schillebeeckx

In a revealed religion, silence with God has a value in itself and for its own sake, just because God is God. Failure to recognize the value of mere[ly] being with God, as the beloved, without doing anything, is to gouge the heart out of Christianity.

The Church and Mankind, Seabury Press, 1976, 118.

Pablo Picasso

Without great solitude, no serious work is possible.

Ruth Haley Barton

Solitude is an opportunity to interrupt this cycle by turning off the noise and stimulation of our lives so that we can hear our loneliness and our longing calling us deeper into the only relationship that can satisfy our longing.

Taken from Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation by Ruth Haley Barton Copyright (c) 2009 by Ruth Haley Barton. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

John Climacus

The friend of silence draws near to God.

The Ladder of Divine Ascent (London: Faber & Faber, 1959), 135.

Alan Fadling

The practices of solitude, silence and listening to God started to slow me down and enabled me to focus my attention more and more on coming to Jesus and following him rather than talking about Jesus and slaving away for him…The focus was less and less on our activities for him and more on our attentiveness to him, on walking with him, and on working with him.

Taken from An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest by Alan Fadling Copyright (c) 2013 by Alan Fadling. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

Still Looking for inspiration?

Consider checking out our illustrations page on Solitude. 

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