Yet, there is another perspective from which to consider this question about selfishness. It may be that we are in fact called to be more selfish in the spiritual life. This may sound strange, but perhaps we ought to set aside a time and a place where we do nothing else at all but address the passions of the soul and meditate on God. It may be that we should take time out for ourselves and for God in the same way as we do—quite naturally, and without ever considering that this is in any way selfish—to eat and rest and be entertained. The truth is that we are no good to others or to ourselves if we avoid or miss this stage of the desert. The Desert Fathers and Mothers emphasize the need for an integrated self. Remember the words of Abba Alonius: we must, he claimed, be totally alone with God and with ourselves in order to rebuild and reshape ourselves.