Solitude is inner fulfillment that sets us free from loneliness and fear.
Solitude is more a state of mind than it is a place.
Inward solitude has outward manifestations.
Inner solitude and inner silence are separable from each other.
The spiritual discipline of solitude and silence teach us when to speak and when to refrain from speaking.
The discipline of silence teaches us to speak when we should.
Silence makes us feel so helpless that we can hardly remain silent.
Silent is intimately related to trust.
One of the fruits of silence is the freedom to let God be our justifier.
Silence brings us to believe that God cares for us.
The fruit of solitude is increased sensitivity and compassion for other people.
Reflecting on Solitude
Solitude is simply a state of mind and heart rather than being alone or far away from other people and their activities. The absence of other people has nothing to do with the spiritual discipline of solitude because it the isolation of mind and heart, but not a place. Thus, solitude and silence are interrelated to each other.
The most important purposes of solitude are training our tongue when to speak and when to refrain from speaking. Moreover, solitude makes us believe how much God cares and loves us. Similarly, solitude increases sensitivity and compassion for other people.
A Light for the Path
Literally, solitude implies the absence of all others. In the discipline of solitude, it implies the solitude of our mind and heart. When we are in distress and agony, our mind develops skeptical attitudes. They divide and scatter into fragments, so we lose our confidence and hope. However, we will be able to gather the fragmented thoughts and unify them into one in solitude. Gradually, our mind and heart become still which boosts our spirit to be confident. This is how confidence musters strength and makes us firm.
When I try to be in solitude, I also seek silence in that situation. It always does not turn as we expect. As a result, there will be spiritual tumult at that time. That experience rather brings inner emptiness in my life. Sometimes, I like to be in the mass because of fear if I would be alone. That fear also creates hollowness in my mind and heart which causes an inner emptiness.
Conversely, solitude becomes inner fulfillment when I collect all fragmented thoughts and merge them into one single thought. I feel solitude and deep inner silence in the mind and heart although there is commotion outside.