During Lent we imitate Jesus as He was led by the Spirit into the desert (Lk 4:1). The desert is not only a physical place but a spiritual condition. We give alms to the degree that we don't have money to buy what we usually buy. We pray so often we deprive ourselves of our customary diversions. We fast so much we don't have the stimulation we usually have. We enter an emotional, psychological, and spiritual desert. We're hungry for pleasure, entertainment, and food.
We're also hungry for God. The devil will tempt us to give priority to our carnal desires. He will try to manipulate and bribe us with food, power, and pleasure (see Lk 4:3, 6-7). If we give in to these temptations, we will have given something priority over God. In effect, we will have made a golden calf in the desert and worshiped an idol (see Ex 32:8).
However, if we resist the temptation to leave the desert by our own power and find our own promised land, we will see our heavenly Father provide for us, His children. We will move into a new dimension of trust in our Father. In the Lenten desert, we will either be manipulated by sin or transformed by Abba.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2008 through March 31, 2008.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 14, 2007.