“HOW IS THE BOOK COMING?”, was the unexpected question from my confessor yesterday after I had spoken my sins, trusting in Divine Mercy.

At that point in the Sacrament the normal expectation is some direct word of advice on avoiding sin, trusting God, not a question about one’s literary effort.

The question was actually on point.

I have spent more time of late writing

letters, articles, doing research for other books than working on this one.


In a word my confessor had been enlightened by the Holy Spirit to ask the central question about fidelity to the duty of the moment.

So here I am this afternoon of the great feast of the Immaculate Conception of Our Blessed Mother, faithful to the duty of the moment, reviewing notes and beginning again!

TO HANG LOOSE, to be silent, to let God use me, to fear nothing, to love always, that is what I am in poustinia for…yet here I am writing notes for my book!

Poustinia – the desert – the hermitage – is NOT for writing books. It is for absolute stillness in being alone with the Divine Lover.

All else here is distraction, rest-less-ness, which is in direct opposition to being at rest in Him.

I think too much!

That’s how Adam lost the original experience of intimacy with God, as well as intimacy with self and other like himself, Eve.

Adam was so busy thinking about the relationship with God, rather than resting in trust of Divine Love, that he was susceptible to the diabolical suggestion God was not to be trusted.

That is, God is not a faithful lover.

Distrust the lover and you come to distrust love itself.

The point of being on the edge of the great interior desert, at the entrance of the great desert of aloneness with the Divine Lover is that I might come to trust Him, trust His Love.

We have, of course, been created by Love Himself, to be His beloved and to love one another, as He loves us, which means self-gifting to other.

From the very beginning the Triune God seeks us out on the holy ground of creation. He first speaks and awaits our response.

There are places of encounter, there is longing within us, His voice moves us and we cry out to Him.

We await Him, He awaits us, becomes more intimate to us than we are to our very selves, for in His Incarnate Being He enters all we must endure, He prays for us, sanctifies solitude for us and continuously knocks at the door of our being, begging leave to enter{Gn.2:18; 3:8-Ex.3:5-1Sm.3:10-1Kgs.20:9,12-Ps.42:2;46:11-Sg.ofSgs.2:10-Sir.35:17-Lam.3:25-Dn.10:8-Mt.4:1;14:23-Mk.1:35;6:31-Lk.9:18;22:41-Rv.3:20}.

Yes during my years with the community, as today in this poustina-desert as I pen these notes, meditate upon those passages, I had many times in solitude and did hear the knocking at the door of my being, but was too weak of faith to do other than lean against the door and yearn for the courage to open.

Yet the very gift of the time confronting — though not in a manner most would deem successfully — my inability to open did help me stay a member of The Community far longer than would have been possible without at least the struggle at the edge of the entrance to the great desert.

Those notes, re-read and typed this afternoon, suddenly revealed to my heart another type of desert – the solitude of the writer!