Was it not our Lord and Savior Who led us into the desert, as a mark of His favor, so that there He might speak to our hearts with special intimacy? It is not in public, not in the market place, not amid noise and bustle that He shows Himself to His friends for their consolation and reveals His secret mysteries to them, but behind closed doors.
It was this rule of our Savior, a rule of utmost holiness, that some of our predecessors followed of old. They tarried long in the solitude of the desert conscious of their own imperfection. Sometimes however—though rarely—they came down from their desert, anxious, so as not to fail in what they regarded as their duty, to be of service to their neighbors, and sowed broadcast of the grain, threshed out in preaching, that they had so sweetly reaped in solitude with the sickle of contemplation.
Nicholas the Frenchman
The Flaming Arrow, VI:57,68
of France, N 1985, The Flaming Arrow: Ignea Sagitta, translated from the Latin by Edwards, B, Teresian Press, Durham.