Excerpt from Hearing God’s Voice
By M. Nadine

“Arise, My beloved, My beautiful one, and come!” (Sg 2:10)

This work of solitude is always the leading of the Holy Spirit. In Hosea 2:16 we read, “I will lead her into the desert and there I will speak to her heart.” God is speaking. God takes the initiative to lead us into this aloneness, into this withdrawal, so that He can speak to our hearts. “I will lead her.” The Church is the “her.” We, each of us, are a “she” because of the feminine dimension of our soul. “And there I will speak to her heart.” God, being Love will speak of Love. He will speak of intimacy. He will speak of His feelings for us. He will affirm us. He will confirm us. He will give us our true identity. And that is the only place we receive our true identity. We will find God there and He will tell us.

Solitude is not a means, like silence and like prayer. Prayer and silence are a means to an end, and the end is God. Solitude is an end in itself. God is there. He is always there, present in that aloneness. Again, it is because He is Love. He wants to be alone with us. He is drawing us. He is leading us.

Now solitude has many faces, because it can be experienced in many ways. It is an experience. One of the faces I just shared is that it is an encounter of love, of union, of relationship. Even when Jesus was with the woman at the well, He was there drawing her into that encounter with Himself, into that love. He spoke to her of the Holy Spirit and the Father. And she was alone there with Him. She was drawn there at noontime, which was not the time of day when women would normally draw water. She was drawn there by the Holy Spirit for this encounter. That is a solitary encounter. That is a desert experience right there.

“The woman herself fled into the desert where she had a place prepared by God, that there she might be taken care of …” (Rev 12:6)