I was once asked: ‘Some people like to withdraw from company and prefer always to be alone. That is where they find peace, when they enter a church. Is this the best thing?’ My answer was ‘No!’ And this is the reason why.
That person who is in the right state of mind, is so regardless of where they are and who they are with, while those who are in the wrong state of mind will find this to be the case wherever they are and whoever they are with. Those who are rightly disposed truly have God with them. And whoever truly possesses God in the right way, possesses him in all places: on the street, in any company, as well as in a church or a remote place or in their cell. No one can obstruct such a person, if only they possess God in the right way, and possess him alone. is this so?
This is the case because they possess God alone, intend God alone, and all things become God for them. Such a person bears God with them in all that they do and wherever they go, and it is God who acts through them…if we truly intend God alone, then he must be the one who acts in what we do and nothing, neither the crowd nor any place, can stand in his way. No one can obstruct this person, for they intend and seek nothing but God and take their pleasure only in Him.
…Truly, this demands hard work and great dedication and a clear perception of our inner life and an alert, true, thoughtful and authentic knowledge of what the mind is turned towards in the midst of people and things. This cannot be learned by taking flight, that is by fleeing from things and physically withdrawing to a place of solitude, but rather we must learn to maintain an inner solitude regardless of where we are or who we are with. We must learn to break through things and to grasp God in them, allowing him to take form in us powerfully and essentially.