By Les Henson.
We live in a world where noise, confusion and conflict abound. Silence and solitude have been forgotten or even displaced — a world where men and women are afraid of silence. So much so, that they will do virtually anything to escape its terrifying clutches. We are fearful of being alone lest we discover the actual reality of who we are in that moment of solitude. The irony of it all is that there is no one so alone as the one who shuns solitude and silence for it is amid the noise and the crowds that real loneliness abounds. Wholeness and peace come to the man or woman who learns in solitude and silence to accept themselves for who they are in the presence of God. Likewise, it is in reflective solitude that we can be at peace with our loneliness. It is in that place that we find healing and companionship with God. It is also in deep solitude and silence that we discover the gentleness and tenderness that gives us the strength to love others as much as we love ourselves.