Meeting Jesus in Solitude this Lent

The holy of Lent should be a season marked by greater solitude in our lives, so says popular Catholic writer and speaker Pete Burak in this month’s FAITH Magazine, the official publication of the Diocese of Lansing.

“While fasting is extremely valuable, and intentional discomfort can discipline us as we grow in holiness, the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness not just to make him hungry, but also to demonstrate the power and necessity of solitude and silence,” writes Pete in his monthly column.

“Without intentional withdrawals from the distractions and noise of the world, we run the risk of missing the still small voice of God and remaining trapped in our old habits and desires.”

The 40-days of Lent constitute a season of prayer, fasting and almsgiving in remembrance of Jesus Christ’s 40-days in the Judean desert following his Baptism in the River Jordan. Pete Burak sums up the season as one of “striving to cast off the old self so a new, purified and resurrected self can emerge.” Key to this, however, is solitude.

“Solitude is the furnace of transformation,” he writes drawing upon the thought of the 20th century Dutch theologian Henri Nouwen, “solitude is not a private therapeutic place. Rather, it is the place of conversion, the place where the old self dies and the new self is born, the place where the emergence of the new man and new woman occurs.”

Pete Burak is the director of i.d.9:16. He has a master's degree in theology and is a frequent speaker at events for youth and young adults. Read his article in full at: