From Blessings of the Daily: A Monastic Book of Days:
The monastic tradition has always emphasized the necessity of both solitude and silence as requirements for those who apply themselves exclusively to prayer. Silence and solitude are indispensable tools for a solid life of prayer. Silence, interior and exterior, pave the road for communication with god. Without silence, the road is not accessible.Solitude frees us from our particular attachments to others, to ourselves, from our strong dependence on security and worldly values. It compels us to look at God alone for our sustenance, for friendship, for comfort. In solitude, the monk never ceases praying, never ceases knocking and calling upon him who is the only left to him. Solitude, seen from this perspective, is not a negative experience or a deprivation. On the contrary, monastic solitude can be incalculably rich, immensely positive. When cultivated properly, humbly, it creates the right climate that makes unceasing prayer possible. Just as silence paves the way for closer communication with God, solitude leads the soul to the harmony and joy of intimacy and communion with him.
+ Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourette