Ah, my dearest Jesus, what mystery…
to be so full, yet so empty.

This is something so sacred
I almost do not want to speak of it,
yet feel drawn also to try in some way to express.
This itself, indeed, is always a tension
that I experience in my daily life–
to remain silent and still, reverent before Mystery,
concealing it within my inmost heart
as I am in turn concealed by it,
sheltered in this humble and lowly hermit life
by you, the true Beloved of my soul.
Yet I also yearn to open out, to share,
a blossoming flower from solitude’s root,
in hope that the love that has touched me, here,
may touch them too, drawing…

Ah, dear Jesus, my Life, my All,
you have given me, from my earliest days,
such a tender and sensitive heart;
and this heart has only been made more tender still
by the dew of grace that has touched me,
by the Mystery ever more deeply penetrating
into my bones, my heart, my life.

How could anyone think that a vocation to solitude
is a kind of flight from the world,
a numb insensitivity to beauty and love in this life?
Ah, but there have been those who lived like this…
Yet for me, no…I find that the opposite is true.
The solitude is like a return to the garden
in which our first parents were naked and pure,
a mingling together, through trusting surrender,
with the Light through which all things are seen.

This world, Jesus, is so numb, insensitive,
for we are desensitized by so much sensation,
and we struggle so much to deeply feel,
yes…to experience the awesome gift of life,
the thrilling, expanding encounter with another person,
so immense in their mystery, so beautiful,
that it pierces the soul and draws it out,
and allows the other also to be impressed within, abiding.

But in the solitude, while all my emotions,
mysteriously, are brought to life more fully,
more responsive to the slightest events of life,
reverberating in profound vulnerability,
they are also gathered together, unified
in the inmost place of the heart.
And here, in the senses of the heart,
more profound yet than the body’s senses,
here, in the affections of the inner person
more profound than emotions on the surface,
all things occur in great quietude, simplicity.

Yet here the nakedness of heart is so great
that the gift of life is overwhelming, full,
and a single passing impression remains,
sealed deep within, enduring,
when perhaps other persons have already forgotten.
Like a sponge already so soaked in grace,
penetrated through with the gift of your pure love,
such fullness does not make one insensitive to more,
but rather allows one to drink in the beauty, the grace
that is alive like a burning fire in every thing…in every person.

I open myself, I share so simply…
and my eyes run with tears, in profound, heartfelt weeping,
weeping in remembrance of the path that I have walked,
and especially of the gratuitous love that you have given,
burning now within me in inexpressible gratitude, joy.
Sweet and gentle, beautiful tears,
streaking down my cheeks throughout the Mass.
The heart is healed and transformed through tears,
as you yourself, Jesus, have said:
Blessed are those who weep.

The faces of others, their posture, their form,
the particular manner of their speech, their voice,
the personality which is expressed in every slightest thing…
is impressed, Jesus, upon my inner heart,
as it is impressed, so much more deeply, upon your own.
The encounter is full of so much emotion.
Immersed in the midst of community,
I simply drink it in, receptive,
trying to love, to accept, to cherish
this gift that I am given by you through them,
this give that I am given in you, of them.

Yet now, returning into the solitude again,
things become so simple, hidden deep within.
Yes, solitude is fullness, vulnerability,
space of encounter and abiding communion…
but it is also a kind of lack, a poverty,
for I contemplate the beloved
without any longer seeing their face.
I embrace them and press them to my heart
without being able to wrap my arms around them.
I listen for their voice, for the beating of their heart,
even though they are many miles away.

Ah…it is a kind of letting-go,
to not turn out, reawakening the external encounter,
but to immerse myself more deeply still
into the silence and the solitude.
Here, Jesus, I repose against your loving breast,
silent and still, I seek to hear and to feel
the gentle beating of your Sacred Heart.
I carry them all, in the depth of my heart’s affection,
before you.
And, so beautifully, when I know your heartbeat
mingling together with mine,
I recognize that, mysteriously,
they are here too…
as they have always been.