"There should be at least a room, or some corner where no one will find you and disturb you or notice you. You should be able to untether yourself from the world and set yourself free, loosing all the fine strings and strands of tension that bind you, by sight, by sound, by thought, to the presence of other men...
Once you have found such a place, be content with it, and do not be disturbed if a good reason takes you out of it. Love it, and return to it as soon as you can, and do not be too quick to change it for another."
There are plenty of good reasons that "take us out of it." We must not neglect those dearest to us as we seek a measure of solitude. Merton is not insisting we place rigid demands on others as we declare a need "to be alone." Yet we can take advantage of a few moments here, or an hour there, and we begin to notice we do have time available.
The theologian urges us to "be still and breath easily," even when we do not know how to pray. Let there be a place where, "your mind can be idle, and forget its concerns, descend into silence, and worship the Father in secret."
Let's not fear the solitude or seek to escape it, in favor of being devoured by activities. Jesus took time to rest and pray. He went off to secret places to spend time with His father. What better example do we need?