Protecting Our Hiddenness
If indeed the spiritual life is essentially a hidden life, how do we protect this hiddenness in the midst of a very public life? The two most important ways to protect our hiddenness are solitude and poverty. Solitude allows us to be alone with God. There we experience that we belong not to people, not even to those who love us and care for us, but to God and God alone. Poverty is where we experience our own and other people's weakness, limitations, and need for support. To be poor is to be without success, without fame, and without power. But there God chooses to show us God's love.
Both solitude and poverty protect the hiddenness of our lives.
This is a hard thing for an extrovert who likes stuff to deal with. I like being with people. I like toys and cool stuff. But yet I also know he's right. I keep saying to myself and others, "Do what you know you should and don't do what you know you should not do." Sometimes simple, gentle reminders come across with the force of a big stick.