Excerpt from Wings
Talk given by M. Nadine


“I have come to set the earth on Fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” (Lk 12:49)

When the Fire of the Holy Spirit has purged and burned and has finally completed its purpose within us - if we allow it - then that same Fire will burn within us without the fuel of sin and it will be very sweet. Then the soul, as St. John of the Cross tells us, will be in sweet communion with God, because the purification process at that level has taken place. This does not mean sin cannot come back – this is a day-to-day battle. But the real deep purification process is over and the resistance is gone. The Fire of God will burn sweetly within us. This is the beauty of solitude! It is a double-edged sword. The same Fire that burns away what has to go is the very same Fire that burns and sets us on Fire with love and zeal for the greater honor and glory of God. And it all happens in the solitude.

It may sometimes be difficult for us to find that alone place or that alone time with God; it is a discipline. We must always remember that the four pillars of contemplative spirituality, or desert spirituality, are disciplines. Each one is a choice. Each one is a decision. Each one is a choice of love. When we love someone, no matter how busy we are, it will become a priority for us to spend some time alone with that person. It is a choice to make time alone with God.

It is in this “alone time” that all the facades melt away and all the fig leaves are gone from us and we are our true and honest selves. That is when things begin to happen. We can then have an encounter with God. “Wash me, Lord. Cleanse me, purify me, Lord. I want my heart to be right with Yours” (Cf. Ps 51). A conversation process begins. The false self starts to go more and more.

In God’s point of view, we find that solitude is very key. In the Song of Songs, you hear Him say to the soul, “O, My dove, in the secret recesses of the cliff (in those deep inner secret places of the heart), let Me hear your voice. Let Me see you” (Songs 2:14). We have to come to Him. He is calling us into this intimacy. He is calling us into this alone time. Everything about God is relationship. God is not nearly as interested in ministry as He is in relationship. That is why He made us in His image and His likeness, so that we, too, would be interested in this relationship. That is number one with God. And He wants it to be the priority with us as well.

“My Lover speaks; He says to me, ‘Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come!’” (Songs 2:10)