I have been thinking about a number of things but I am not ready yet to write about them publicly. So I wanted to share the introduction paragraph from A Handbook of the Religious Life on Solitaries:
There have always been some who believe that they are called by God to dedicate themselves by a vow and to live as consecrated celibates, whose primary concern is to build up the body of Christ in unity and love, though without living a community life and a common Rule. This autonomous vowed life has been recognised in the Eastern and Western Churches from earliest times as an authentic Christian vocation.
The modern Anglican vocation of being a solitary is somewhere between the medieval anchorite (if it is lived purely as a contemplative) and the modern Roman vocation of Consecrated Virginity (which cam be mixed, true active, or true contemplative). The only “vow” is to celibacy – singleness. I do not like the term celibacy or singleness. They appear, to me, to be negative – something is given up. I think the vow is to live for Jesus only forsaking all others – only his love and friendship. A solitary can be lonely (due to the absence of people) but that is given new meaning by the presence of Jesus.
The aim is simple: ” to build up the body of Christ in unity and love.” Beyond this there is freedom. It is not life according to a community rule or traditional rule but, of course, it can include such elements. And the freedom is its strength – all for Jesus all of the time.
So in the freedom of today I would like to meditate on these issues: diet, space, confession, silence, work (building up the body of Christ).