Gemeinde Rödelsee



A Hermit’s Seclusion

As early as pre-Christian times, individuals left society behind to live in solitude and seclusion in unwelcoming places. The first Christian hermits secluded themselves in the Egyptian desert in the 3rd century. They laid the foundations of the first monastic orders of Christianity.

Their way of life was deeply rooted in biblical tradition, inspired by the 40-year wandering of the Israelites and the 40-day fasting of Jesus in the desert. The Benedictine monastic rules also mention monks living as hermits: “… they have learned to fight the devil.”

This refers to the threats hermits face all the time, as a result of their life in the wilderness and their confrontation with themselves in seclusion. But religious hermits are not really alone: Silence allows them to meditate and contemplate; their minds calm down and focus; everyday thoughts fade away; finally hermits directly and immediately experience God.

Spiritual experience through meditation is not limited to Christianity or monotheistic religions. In Hinduism, Buddhism or Taoism, meditation plays a much greater role than in Western culture. Christian churches have rediscovered meditation and contemplation, reviving their own 2000-year history. The Spiritual Centre on Schwanberg invites visitors to take part in meditation evenings or temporarily live in a nunnery.


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