"Magnificent Desolation." Those were the first words spoken by the second man on the moon as he stood on the new terrain. And more striking than the first man's words they are. True progress for mankind is ultimately in the spiritual and moral realm, and sometimes we advance through desolation and darkness.
Desolation, or desolatio, has the Latin word for sun, solis, in its root. The sun is darkened or declined in this style of prayer. We do not feel the warmth of God. Prayer is, instead, flat, dry, and difficult.