"Solitude and silence are hard to find in the modern world, which regards both as aberrations which must be avoided. Yet solitude has never been more sought after, as the growth of the retreat movement shows. Increasingly, people are experiencing an interior call to solitude which, although it was a commonplace in the Middle Ages, is strange to today's religious concerns, with their emphasis on community. The solitary, standing outside these concerns, witnesses to a God who is divinely other and not a commodity to be possessed by the world for its own ends.Paths in Solitude*
"The mystery of God is encountered in silence and solitude. The creative artists make raids into this unknown world of mystery, and return bearing artifacts. Others make solitude their home; these are the contemplatives."
(*This little-known book examines aspects of solitude: solitude and society, the artist as solitary, and physical solitude, and at the historical roots of the solitary life, the monastic path, travelers and wanderers, hermits and institutions. The final part of the book is a guide to the Christian solitary life, the practicalities and the prayer of the solitary. The book is a bit hard to find, but go to the website of the Fellowship of Solitaries (http://www.solitaries.org.uk/) and I believe they still have it available there. Most likely there are many of us living a solitary life in the world, deeply committed to God, though not a 'vowed religious'. This is what is meant by the term 'Solitaries'. )