Monday, February 23, 2015

When You are in the Thick

This Bible verse has been on my mind throughout the day, all day, every day for the last week. I read it in a little prayer book that a friend gave me a few years ago. It is not specifically for Lent, just a little coffee table book of God's promises, but it has become a part of my Lenten reading. It is a great reminder to me, and I thought that maybe some of you may be in need of the promise, too.

Have I mentioned before that we are blessed to attend a parish with several priests? I am glad to be able to tell you that I enjoy listening to all of them preach. They speak such wisdom and often it is just what I need to hear. After Mass yesterday, I kept thinking about Father's homily.

Father talked about how the evil one preys upon us when we are at our weakest. Maybe we think God has forgotten us or doesn't hear us. We are unhappy or stressed or lonely, and we are looking for something quick to make us happy and give us pleasure. He encouraged us to stay strong and to see these temptations for what they are, the murmurings of the devil. 

During the season of Lent, we remember the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert fasting, meditating, and preparing for His ministry. We spend 40 days uniting ourselves to Him through prayer, denying ourselves from certain earthly pleasures by fasting, and loving others by performing good works. As we prepare ourselves for the Easter season and the risen Christ, we may find the devil tempting us away from our present course and back into our old sinful ways. But the pleasure is fleeting, and we desire more than short-lived comforts. We desire to be united with Jesus forever. 

When we align our actions and sufferings with Christ, we can overcome temptation and sin. By emptying ourselves of selfishness and other sins, we allow more room for God to enter and transform us. And at the end of this period of preparation and reconciliation we will rejoice. 
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