vox eremita

For Those Who Live Alone in the World ~ A Viam Vitae


For Those Who Live Alone in the World

A Viam Vitae ~ A Way of Life

  1. Let those who, for whatever reason, live alone in the world, be deeply consoled in your heart. Life has not forgotten you, She holds you in Her hands, and will not let you fall.
  2. Nature comprises many solitary places that give the heart and mind renewal and that nurture a spiritual disposition. Seek out places that give you consolation and energy, and in so doing seek the Creator who gives Life. In every breath acknowledge inwardly your humility before the Creator of Life, and as you exhale, find peace in what remains behind. In this primal simplicity is the wisdom of the ages.
  3. Understand that you can benefit from the sacred wisdom left to us by our foremothers and fathers, so many of whom, manifested a deep faith in God and Creator. Within the wealth of these western and Indigenous traditions arise powerful strengths and assurances.
  4. Seek out and study these many traditions, and bring to life in your daily practice simple but true expressions of spirituality and meaning. Render sacred your life and the lives of those around you by your state of mind and heart, and by your actions of kindness, gentleness, patience, and compassion.
  5. Like all great teachers, Jesus of Nazareth, during his time among us, found himself many times alone and without consolation, grappling with the contradictions of his existence while bearing the weight of care and love for others. Attend to his example by seeking quiet places for prayer and contemplation, bringing your mind to stillness and fullness within your heart, like a young child who is resting in her mother’s arms, content after her feeding.
  6. Like our Brother from Nazareth, by seeking the quiet mindfulness of solitude and prayer, allow your heart to find deep abiding peace on the threshold of renewal in your being, as the Sacred Presence of The Comforter draws near you. Allow the hidden work of the Holy Spirit to transform and enlighten your heart and renew your body, in unison with Jesus the Son and God the Father, who together are the Great Community of Creator, Created, and Creation.
  7. As you enter upon this Holy Threshold, know that you are never alone, and that your being is becoming at one in the Manifest Being of Creation. This is your atonement with your true identity, meaning, and purpose in this incarnation.
  8. Let those who are called more deeply into solitude take up this eremitical lifestyle within the context of their responsibilities and roles in the world, knowing that the tension between this call into the quiet verses the demands of daily life is itself a path of spiritual sacrifice and transformation into a life of virtue and purity.
  9. Let those who are called more deeply into solitude also nurture and seek to sustain a stable hermitical life, wherever possible, that finds the fullness of contemplative focus while supporting simple means of work to sustain the body and a dwelling place suitable for spiritual practice.And for others who, for whatever reasons, have not consciously chosen this life but nonetheless find themselves living a life alone in the world, turn your heart to the wonder of how Creator has gifted you with an opportunity each day to manifest a spiritual life of mindful thanksgiving. In this way, anyone can change their mind for the better and redeem that which appears lost, but in fact has become a clear path to illumination.
  10. Let the solitary life be considered a normal state of life that many of us find ourselves living at various times and for different reasons. Let this way of life be considered most pleasing. Let those called to this unique way of life nurture lives of prayer, work, and humility. Continuing and persevering in this life is highly praiseworthy and brings the quality of mindfulness to all that we are.
  11. By living within this call from Creator, the solitary person echoes in their being the very nature of the cosmos, itself full of the silence of Creator, Created, and Creation. The solitary contributes to the mystical prayer of the ages. United to the paths of west and east, and of Indigenous nations far and wide, the solitary stands in the Centre of Creation, abiding with the Power of Being. In these ways, the great teachers and Jesus are together continually transforming the universe through the light and power of his resurrection, unfolding, and expanding in evolutionary time and beyond time into eternity.
  12. Let those called to this life offer obedience of heart to the Creator, poverty of lifestyle and being, and chastity as purity of heart and intention. In these ways, by offering your life and being in solitary devotion your work and your being finds unity with the mystical prayer of the universal Body of Christ.
  13. For those more deeply called into the Christian mysticism of the western and universal teachings, it is worthy and helpful to honor and uphold the apostolic traditions of the Body of Christ, and to form your life around the table of the Lord, with reverence for the Blessed Eucharist.
  14. For those so called, let your devotion to the Blessed Sacrament be consistent, noble, securely placed, and steadfastly nurtured within the abundant, ancient, and unbroken traditions of the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, whose Pope and Bishops, as loving Shepherds, protect and provide all those with faith with a continual outpouring of sacramental grace, hope, and loving service. Knowing in your heart that we all, as one family, together in loving kindness, patience, and forgiveness, will continue to journey toward our homeland, in the way of Jesus and Mary of Nazareth, and in their continual self-gift of abiding peace and mercy.
  15. Be aware that over many seasons, you, the solitary, will open your whole being to mindfulness, prayer, and transformation. Let the solitary always contemplate the life of the Creator, whose expansive and penetrating love nurtures both solitude and communion. This life supports a unique singleness of being, and a depth of unity and mutual understanding.
  16. In so doing, over time, and as this moment is rendered holy in wonder, while the future becomes today and the past is transformed in this now of Creation, know in your heart that Creator, Created, and Creation is active within you. Know that you may more deeply consecrate your life to Jesus and Mary in the ways of poverty in spirit, chastity in purity of being, and obedience with a listening and open heart to learning the ways of the Father of Mercy.
  17. In these ways, you will know the fullness of a stable life of solitude and service. Your life will be rendered holy. You will become in this now of Creation a new outpouring of God’s abundant life in this world. By you simply breathing, you will come to consecrate the secular world as sacred. And by your actions, others will know the super abundance of God’s endless mercy and love that is given freely in this day and age. While humanity faces great upheaval and peril, our faith is assured.
  18. Let those who live in solitude in the world acknowledge that we are never alone. Indeed, we are all one in Christ. As we explore, learn, and transform our lives in solitary devotion, study, prayer, and work, let us acknowledge our small and humble part in the Great Oneness.
  19. In so doing, those who live alone in the world find meaning, purpose, and destiny, for every moment alone is a moment well spent. We live within this paradox, and offer our humble witness to the providence of Creator. In every human contingency there is atonement. In every moment, new life being formed. In the darkness, a light of faith illuminates the heart.
  20. We have only to think for a brief moment of all those who have lived these ways before us. And suddenly we are surrounded by a host of helpers, guides, teachers, counsellors, ministers, priests, and bishops. All are standing around us, with healers, seers, mystics, poets, and saints.With one voice, and one open embrace, they invite you to kneel and to accept your calling. Rise, child of the way of mercy and peace. You are given a new name. Your light is the light of the ages. Your way is found in the solitude of daily practice. No one need see your service to humanity. But your light will be seen by the angels and all the host of heaven. And your ministry will be unending.

© 2014, Joseph Bowers.

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Author: Joseph Bowers PhD

Dr Joseph Bowers holds a Ph.D. Counselling, M.Ed. Counselling, Grad. Cert. Higher Education, and B.A. with Distinction in Religious Studies and Philosophy. Joseph is a founding member of the counselling profession in Australia, Honorary of the Australian Counselling Association, and Adjunct Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at the UNE. His experience since the 1980s includes roles in Pastoral Counselling, Counselling Psychotherapy, Clinical Supervision and Counsellor Education; for the past two decades training therapists and in practice as a specialist in personal development, disability and mental health. He is currently doing a post-doctoral study in spirituality leading to a doctorate in theology.