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Fr. Simon and Marcus Schonnop

Honestly, it is a Little Frightening

“I never seem to have enough time”

This is a common theme in our age. We are always rushing from one thing to the next and there never seems to be enough time to get all our work done, all our cores finished, or manage all our relationships.

Sadly, at the lower end of that list is often our prayer life. When do we find the time to pray? When do we ever take the time to seek God’s ‘now word’ for our lives?

But, what if you had the time? What if you had more time than you needed?!

That was my experience last week as I entered Poustinia for the first time in many years. Poustinia is a Russian tradition made popular in the West due to the influence of Madonna House. It involves spending extended periods of time alone, in a small cabin, in the woods.

Poustinia InteriorThe cabin has a simple set up: a bed, a chair, a table and a wood stove (very important for the winter months in northern Ontario). That’s about it! Oh, and time, a full day without interruption or demand, a full day of unscheduled time!

Think about it, no phone, no electricity, and no excuse. It is just you and God, and 36 hours to spend together to work it out.

It sounds idyllic, and if we are honest a little frightening. But, in truth, there is a lot of work involved because that is the point. It is the stark truth of who I am and who I am not in the face of God.

"Personally, I had a little lesson in what it means to go deeper in my faith and how utterly dependent I am on the mercy of God for everything, including the capacity to pray. I also experienced a warmth and presence that I am usually to busy to notice."

Not all of us have a cabin in the back yard; however, much of our modern world does come with an off switch. Why not exercise that option and take a day to listen to the Song of Songs, God’s love for us.



Fr. Rob

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