By the wonderful favor of God’s loving care, in this solitude of ours we have the peace of solitude and yet we do not lack the consolation and comfort of holy companionship. It is possible for each of us to sit alone and be silent, because we have no one to disturb us with interruptions, and yet it cannot be said of us: “Woe to him who is alone, since he has nobody to console him or if he should fall has none to lift him up.” We are surrounded by companions, yet we are not in a crowd. We live as it were in a city, yet we have to contend with no tumult, so that the voice of one crying in the wilderness can be heard by us, provided only that we have interior silence to correspond to the exterior silence that surrounds us. “The words of the wise heard in quiet,” Solomon says, “are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools.” And now if the depths of your soul were to keep a quiet silence, the all-powerful Word would flow secretly into you from the Father’s throne. Happy then in the one who has so fled the world’s tumult, who has so withdrawn into the solitude and secrecy of interior peace that he can hear not only the Voice of the Word but the Word himself: not John but Jesus.
Guerric of Igny, Liturgical Sermons I, Sermon 4: The Fourth Sermon for Advent, v 2 (CF 8, p. 23f)