Should one seek God in solitude or in human relationships? It is widely accepted that both ways are valid. With regard to solitude, think of the anchorites of the early Christian era; with regard to human relationships, think of the worker priests of the 20th century. Or we can think of St. Thérèse of Lisieux as a model for contemplation and St. Francis Xavier as a model for action.
There is a third possibility, which is to seek God in solitude and social contact, trying to find an appropriate rhythm of alternation, like the ebb and flow of the tide along a beach.
Without minimizing the spiritual benefit of solitude, here I would like to explore the possibilities of seeking God through contact with people. Is there not a spirituality that comes from relating to people, especially the simplest of people? I would like here to pay tribute to the many simple people who, by being who they are, have helped and are helping me to be a priest and a religious.