Each month editors Paul and Karen Fredette pose a discussion topic and invite responses. The question for the May issue is as follows:
“As I move deeper into hermit life, I am torn between the need to stay connected to a (church) congregation but also feeling increasingly “off-center” in that public setting. How do others work this out?” Here’s my response.
"If I didn’t attend church and participate in its life of worship and service, I would become even more self-centered than I already am. My understanding of hermit life for me is two fold: I need solitude and community. I am called to intercessory prayer, and for that I require a great deal of time alone. But I am also called to serve God by reaching out to people face to face, and for that I must have community. Attending church every Sunday gives me the opportunity to pray with others, to keep my list of intercessory prayer requests current, to be aware of who might like a visit, to give people rides to church, and more. (Note, I am not on any committee)."
My purpose is to love and serve God. Church keeps me “on-center” and connected. If I get “off-center” I return to my model, Jesus, who went off by himself to pray and then went out into the world.