The essence of our faith is to eternally seek to know God better in order to glorify him more and to serve him better in men.— Poustinia:: Encountering God in Silence, Solitude and Prayer (Madonna House Classics Book 1) by Catherine Doherty https://a.co/j85lALs
News Flash …
SOUTH PASTURE USA (CR News) — It’s far out in the country … isolated … and intensely surrounded by nature’s quiet parade. Our Poustinia shelters us from the winter’s rain and protects us from her prevailing winds. It also shades us from the summer’s intense sun, serving as both a desert and an oasis. Our Poustinia is located at the far end of the South Pasture, and it’s there that we can always count on meeting the Holy Spirit and learning the latest good news from the Kingdom of God.
It wasn’t always a Poustinia. Like the people who visit, it has its own history. Once upon a time, not so long ago, the land was a small horse farm with two pastures, a corral, and a small barn. This humble structure, just four posts and a steel roof, served as a shelter for the horses.
Several years ago, as we became aware of the land, we regularly prayer-walked it with friends. Together we asked the Lord, if it were not already holy, that He might make it holy ground. Eventually, the Lord enabled us to acquire the land, and it became part of our little, hobby farm.
In recent years, we shared the South Pasture with some friends who used it as a gathering place for an outdoor ministry. After we poured a concrete floor, it was transformed into an outdoor kitchen. Nearby, the ministry team erected a cross on the land and set up a fire pit to sit around as they told fish stories and hunting tales. They even baked some wonderful fruit cobblers in the fire pit too. And of course, they prayed a lot there.
About the same time our ministry friends felt led to shift their focus to “rescue horses” (on a larger piece of land), we learned about the power of Poustinia. We first heard of Poustinia on YouTube from our friends at the Shrine of Divine Mercy (Stockbridge MA). We were also introduced to Catherine Doherty’s wonderful little book, Encountering God in Silence, Solitude, and Prayer (Madonna House Classic Books).
We learned that “poustinia” was a Russian word meaning “desert.” A desert, of course, could be the hot, sandy image that most of us have, but it does not have to mean that. Any quiet, isolated place can be a Poustinia. The Russian Orthodox peasants often use old, abandoned cabins or other shelters as a Poustinia. And of course, you learn in the Gospels that Jesus had His own powerful, desert experiences.
Nitty Gritty …
So we decided it was time to put the old horse shelter into service as a Poustinia. A young friend helped us remove the clutter and debris that built up since the last outdoor ministry event. Then we cleaned it up a bit and found a couple of old chairs and a small table that seemed suitable for the Poustinia. We added some nails to hang rosaries. Of course, we needed a crucifix. We left the picture of the Last Supper hanging there as homage to the outdoor ministry too. And we blessed the Poustinia with holy water.
Then we began to pray in the little Poustinia. Oh, wow!
If you’ve never gone to a quiet place and made yourself be still for awhile simply to listen for God’s presence, you have missed a great gift from the Lord. He showed up the very first time we sat there.
We quietly announced our presence and openly sought His. And slowly, the wind began to blow. And then, the multi-colored leaves on the hardwood tree just in front of the Poustinia began to shake (from the wind) giving the appearance of a grand ticker-tape parade or an immense stadium full of fans who were waving flags or banners all together to cheer their team to victory.
Soon, very soon, the wind quieted down and a beautiful bird showed up in the same tree. He didn’t seem to notice us, but he showed himself like a fashion model on a runway. A turn here, and a turn there. Such a beauty he was! God must’ve enjoyed making that little guy.
Then he flew away.
And it got really cool. Not cold, just comfortably cool and refreshing. That’s when we noticed the colors emerging on the hardwoods at the other end of the North Pasture. It was nearly a full pallet of paint. We looked for more, but then … well, there was nothing. But it was a wonderful nothing for sure!
The meeting we were having with the Holy Spirit didn’t end. However, it was as if He got quiet and wanted us to be quiet too. It was like two lovers getting together, neither wanting to speak, both simply wanting to be in the moment with the other. That’s really the very best kind of love — the kind that says, “I just love you and really enjoy being with you.”
It hasn’t been very long since that first day in the Poustinia. We confess that we have been meeting Him there secretly, and ever so quietly, ever since. And when we’re not there, we find ourselves thinking about getting back to Him at the Poustinia again soon!
That’s how it is with love. And the Bible tells us that God is love (1 Jn 4:16).
So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.(NRSV)
Our Story …
That’s our story, and we’re sticking to it!
Your Next Move …
It’s time for a change, folks. The time for conversion in our world is at hand now. It’s time to make a decision. If you want more of the nonsense and craziness you’ve been seeing in the world, what keep doing what you’ve been doing the way you’ve been doing it. But if you want the world to be peace, and if you want joy in your life, then change. Repent. Convert your thinking.
Take time to meet with Him like He’s your spiritual Lover. The only place in this world where you’ll ever find lasting peace and joy is with Jesus.
It’s your turn. What’s your next move going to be?
Oh, by the way, if you have a Poustinia place, share a picture with us here or on social media. Let’s encourage each other to be inspired by the Holy Spirit!
2 thoughts on “Rendezvous At The Poustinia”
Prayers in the midst of God’s creation are Holy Moments filled with the reality of His love.. Amen 🙏
We were working on our “Holy Moments” article as your comment came in. Thank you, brother!