We are asked during Lent to imitate Jesus’ days in the desert. Jesus prayed and went without food for forty days and nights in complete solitude. He faced and resisted the devil’s temptations. He put His trust in and accepted God’s will. How can we use His example during Lent to grow and strengthen our faith?
By the solemn forty days of Lent, the Church unites herself each year to the mystery of Jesus in the desert.
Identifying with Jesus
Many of us have experienced changes in circumstances since the pandemic started over two years ago. If you are one of the many who now work from home full- or part-time, you may recognize how being remote and isolated has impacted you. Gone are the days by the water cooler. Human interactions are limited, often only to family and very close friends. Life celebrations are now recognized remotely in a meeting, etc. In some ways, it may be a little easier to have some insight and a limited understanding of how difficult Jesus’s isolation was.
We will never fully understand because we aren’t truly isolated or faced with the harsh elements of a desert. Nor have we had to fast or spend forty days praying. And the trials the devil temps us with are more often trivial in comparison to the temptations and promises of opportunity promised to Jesus by the devil. And still, many of us struggled. Think of those feelings as you prepare for Lent.
(Lent) is a period of spiritual ‘combat’ which we must experience alongside Jesus, not with pride and presumption, but using the arms of faith: prayer, listening to the word of God and penance. In this way, we will be able to celebrate Easter in truth, ready to renew the promises of our Baptism.
Pope Benedict XVI
Let us use Jesus as our inspiration during Lent to strengthen our own faith. Let us use our isolation, fasting, and prayer to draw us more deeply towards our faith and detach us from all the distractions of our modern lives.
We aren’t alone in our journey. He is watching over us. We also have access to daily Masses in-person and online. We have the opportunity to participate with fellow Catholics in prayer groups remotely if necessary. There are Lenten resources and reflections to help us with our journeys. We have our families to support and be supported by.
Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father
Let’s pledge to become deeper in our faith this Lenten season. Put some time aside during your day to pray, reflect, forgive, and give thanks. Read each Sunday’s scripture. Reach out and help others in need through volunteering or a donation. Attend a weekday Mass. Participate in a Stations of the Cross and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Make a pledge to turn your isolation into a celebration of your faith.
Carol has worked in the ACST Marketing department and managed most aspects of marketing over the last 20 years. Before ACST, she spent many years handling marketing for companies across the US including, Novell, WordPerfect, Purolator Courier, ArtToday.com, and U.S.News & World Report. Carol is a cradle Catholic who has been active her entire life (a long time!) and has served in volunteer positions within her parish, including formation instructor, lector, code red responder, and numerous other volunteer roles.