Too many people have told me here that they cannot find a safe haven, a community. I have thought on this today and reflected on St. Catherine's words on creating a cell within the mind to which one can retreat in order to find God and peace.
Some have asked me if this house, or this village, or this town is a safe haven. I have had to say "no" when asked by some friends here because the safe haven, by definition, must be safe. To be safe is not an external phenomenon, a security made by "preppers", but an interior safety.
One of the reasons why some of my friends have moved into other areas and discovered that what they thought they had found or created, in Washington State, or Idaho, or Maine, has not become a safe haven is that they have brought the world with them into what they thought would be a sanctuary. The reason is that those who have moved into the "community" have brought sin and corruption with them.
A true safe haven is interior, made from the life of prayer which seeks for perfection. Only when one stops sinning mortally, when one tries to omit all venial sins, and live in the life of virtue, working on the elimination of one's predominant fault, can one create that safe haven, which is the place where one meets the Indwelling of the Trinity.
Prepping for physical trials is fine, but those efforts alone do not create a safe haven. One of the things which we did in community so long ago was to repent and change, pray together twice daily, work on faults and sins.
Without the focus of holiness, no person, family or friends can create a safe haven. Christ must be the center of all efforts, not things, not place, not even people.
If one is moving into a community and bringing all of one's sins and faults into the area or house, those around one are there to help the process of purification. If one is not willing to change, to convert, to face old and new sins, there can be no safe haven.
The monastic communities, especially Benedictine and Cistercian ones, demand daily conversion. Monastic peace is bought for the price of dying to self, the death of the ego.
In the past, communities, or safe havens survived and flourished because of the holiness of the members, and not because of the mountains or valleys which protected these buildings.
Those communities which tolerated sin fell into ruin, or were renewed by reformers, such as St. Anselm.
The inner safe havens of each member creates the true, physical safe haven. If people are merely focusing on the externals, the place will not be a safe haven, no matter how remote or physically rich.
We are all called to holiness. Create the cell within the mind and soul for God to come and rest within. Such is the beginning of true community,