Desert-bound! Weekly Message 3-3-2015

Dear Friends in Christ,

History abounds with great figures who spent time in exile, in one kind of wilderness or another, before emerging again, stronger.

Ezra the prophet returned from the Babylonian exile and became the “father of Judaism.” St. Paul spent three years in Arabia before going to Jerusalem to speak with Cephas (Galatians 1:18) and then another 14 years (Galatians 2:1) in Syria and Cilicia before returning to Jerusalem.

The wilderness purifies. It strips away attachments to comforts. It forces a person to face himself, to go deep with God, and to confront hard questions about life.

Lent can be this kind of wilderness. It is a time to go into the desert with Jesus and to be purified of things that hold us back from progress in the spiritual life. And just as Jesus spent 40 days in prayer and sacrifice before his mission, so too we are called to a special time of preparedness.

Preparedness in the spiritual life requires prayer and time alone with Our Lord. To that end the RC Spirituality website is offering a retreat, The Widow’s Might, designed with Lent in mind.

To prepare for Holy Week the website has a group study guide on the film The Passion of the Christ.

And there are twice-weekly postings at Ask a Priest that address questions dealing with the faith at a practical level.

Whatever you do this Lent, make ample time to be with Our Lord. Ask him what he wants the most from you in this time leading up to Holy Week.

And if you feel the need for help as you trek in the Lenten wilderness, consider at your service.

I pray that you have a fruitful time with Jesus.

God bless,

Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC
Ask a Priest contributor 

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