Madonna House Ottawa is a poustinia house. Poustinia means “desert” in Russian—and includes spiritual deserts, places where one can go to be alone, in silence and solitude, places to find God, who dwells within each of us. People enter the poustinia for two reasons: to pray for themselves and to pray for others.
We need to pray for others because we are part of the human family and no one but God can bind up the wounds of our culture. There is hope in Christ who tells us, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.”
Madonna House in Ottawa is a “poustinia in the marketplace,” where we engage in a life of prayer, fasting and intercession for our city, country and the world.
We make time to listen and pray with those who call on the telephone or request a get-together for discernment or spiritual accompaniment. We try to accept all who come with the same acceptance that Jesus offers us.
We offer a room in our house for others to share our Desert for 24 hours of silence, solitude, prayer and fasting, checking their cell phones at the door. This allows persons to encounter Jesus in his Word—the Scriptures. We are available if needed. In the words of the Russian poustiniks, “Come and share what God in his goodness has given to us.”