“Love comes from prayer, and prayer comes from remaining in seclusion.” –St. Isaac of Syria
As I look at this phrase, I tend to dismantle it piece by piece. I think it is one of the best ways to describe the origin of love, because prayer is all about coming into relationship with God and, as St. John tells us, “God is love” (1 John 4:8).
It makes sense, then, that prayer increases our capacity for love – for the more we come to know God, who is love, the more we come to know what true love is.
The second part goes, “and prayer from remaining in seclusion.” This is an interesting concept to wrap one’s mind around. I know that personally some of my most productive prayer time is alone with the Lord in adoration. This seclusion eventually forces me to look inward and assess my own weaknesses and my utter inability to do anything pleasing to God without His grace.
Seclusion and prayer are like this intricate dance; each one helps the other out, like a couple doing a waltz. The ultimate result is something that is absolutely beautiful. As of late, I’ve been wrestling with this single state of life. In a sense, I am secluded.
This leads me to consider what God said of Adam, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him” (Gen 2:18). We all know what God was thinking, but I wonder what it was like for Adam?
He really was secluded; there was no other rational human being for him to even converse with. Imagine what his prayer must have been like! All he had was God. The prayer born out of that type of seclusion must have been phenomenal. And at that point, he hadn’t sinned! Man, his prayer and love must have been out of this world!
Maybe all of us in the single state of life should take note of this and not wallow in our seclusion, but instead allow it to cultivate in us a powerful prayer life, thus cultivating a powerful capacity to love. This seclusion is only the preparation for a great love for whomever God has destined for me.
Reflection question: What fruits have you reaped from seclusion this Lent?
Read more Lenten reflections written by CatholicMatch members:
- Day 35 – Joyce-670967: ‘Do Not Judge By His Appearance’
- Day 34 – Vince-690564: ‘Am I Going To Find Someone At All?’
- Day 33 – Lisa-2533: ‘I Want To Spend More Time In Gratitude’
- Day 32 – Maria-414558: ‘It’s A Yearly Checkpoint’
- Day 31 – Ray-566531: ‘Now I Feel No Sense Of Urgency’
- Day 30 – Paula-176068: ‘Maybe We can Still Put God First’
- Day 29 – Nancy-550313: ‘I Need Lots Of Prayer & Encouragement’
- Day 28 – Steven-408478: ‘The Depths Of My Sins Were Forgiven’
- Day 27 – Nathalie-529528: ‘For Once I See Single Life As A Blessing’
- Day 26 – Craig-88457: ‘One Of Those Moments That Lasts Lifetime’
- Day 25 – Angela-394784: ‘Keep Doing What You’re Doing’
- Day 24 – Elizabeth-521570: ‘Pleading With God: Why Am I Still Single?’
- Day 23 – Dan-139782: ‘I’m Rolling With The Dating Disappointments’
- Day 22 – Judith-575655: ‘Dating Seems Like Its Own Form Of Penance’
- Day 21 – Jaime-361203: ‘I Want To Seek First The Kingdom Of God’
- Day 20 – Diane-173836: ‘Single Life Is Not A Barren Spiritual Desert’
- Day 19 – Michelle-629774: ‘Let Us Fast From Comparisons’
- Day 18 – Darrell-622889: ‘Single Life, Followed By Easter Joy’
- Day 17 – Rosalia-544329: ‘Amazingly, I Feel Saved’
- Day 16 – Sherry-118409: ‘My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?’
- Day 15 – Matthew-695017: ‘Lent Is Not A Dark & Gloomy Time’
- Day 14 – Dawn-58330: ‘I Want To Have Faith Like A Child’
- Day 13 – Dan-595920: ‘I Always Find Excuses’
- Day 12 – Annette-639693: ‘In The Quiet I Hear God’s Voice Clearly’
- Day 11 – Ron-40989: ‘Remember We Are Purifying Our Love’
- Day 10 – Linda-504414: ‘God Might Be Trying To Teach Us Something Vital’
- Day 9 – Andy-246798: ‘I’m Happy To Take A Break From Dating Women’
- Day 8 – Marci-365801: ‘I’m Worried I Have Drifted Off Course’
- Day 7 – Tina-401203: ‘Waiting For Our Lives To Begin’
- Day 6 – Erik-215414: ‘No One Said This Was Going To Be Easy’
- Day 5 – Cate-291547: ‘I Felt Stuck In A Second Adolescence’
- Day 4 – Ryan-672439: ‘God Loves A Good Comeback’
- Day 3 – Theresa-630252: ‘I Think Of This As Preparation Time’
- Day 2 – Barb-505508: ‘We Have To Read Between The Lines’
- Day 1 – Richard-632838: ‘I Recognize How Much I Need God’s Grace’