“We think of solitude as a station where we can recharge our batteries, or as the corner of the boxing ring where our wounds are oiled, our muscles massaged, and our courage restored by fitting slogans. In short, we think of solitude as a place where we gather new strength to continue the ongoing competition in life.
But that is not the solitude of St. John the Baptist, of St. Anthony or St. Benedict, of Charles de Foucald or the brothers of Taize. For them, solitude is not a private therapeutic place. Rather, it is the place of conversion, the place where the old self dies and the new self is born.”
Henri Nouwen, The Way of the Heart