Dawn clip art

Rising very early before dawn, Jesus left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.

This scripture passage from Mark 1:35 is one of my favorites. It reminds me of how very human Jesus was. In my imagination I observe Jesus tiptoeing through the house in order not to wake anyone. In the darkness . . . before the oppressive heat of the day . . . before the busyness of teaching and healing . . . Jesus seeks to ground himself in the love of God and in the strength and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, in the silence and solitude of dawn. As for many of us, the early hours are often the only ones we can truly count on for ourselves without responsibilities and interruptions.

I’m an early riser. Depending on the time of year, it usually is before dawn. Just like Jesus in this scripture passage, I go to a “deserted” place and pray. My deserted place is actually a corner of my room where I keep my bible, journal and a candle. In the pre-dawn darkness and silence I spend time in prayer, offering to God the day which is about to begin.

Where is your “deserted place”? Is it in your home like mine? Or maybe it’s a place you go just to be quiet and enjoy nature. If you aren’t a morning person, no worries! The goal is to have a place where you can go regularly, unplug, and spend some moments of silence; enough time to open yourself to speak and listen to God, a time and place to ground yourself in the unconditional love of God. Maybe this can be a quest you take over the next days and weeks—to search out your deserted place and sit quietly with your God. Then, as our foundress Saint Angela Merici says, “Get ready for big surprises!”