Separated from all and united to all

The charisma of the solitary life is to express openly this interior aspect of the mystery of the Church, its intimate and personal relationship with Christ, a sharing in his passion and his glory. In the heart of the Church, therefore, the life lived by hermits is exposed to the Spirit, by whose power their gifts are made fruitful in their fullness for everyone. In the measure that they allow the Spirit free action in themselves, ascetics are enabled to intercede for others, to whom they already manifest on earth the presence of the kingdom of God.

For solitaries, the words of St Antony, the father of hermits, become a living reality: ‘My life is with my neighbour.’ So solitaries are in the forefront of the fray, with no other arms than prayer and penitence. Although alone, they are one with all people who labour to hasten the coming of the kingdom. They are, according to Evagrius, ‘separated from all and united to all.’ ~Excerpt From: Allchin, A.M. “Solitude and Communion: Papers on the Hermit Life (Fairacres Publications).”