The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days
and he was tempted there.
The wilderness is often a metaphor for a place where the world of our daily experience and the sacred intersect. The gospel tells us that the Spirit drove Jesús into the desert and he was there for forty days. In the wilderness he was alone. He met wild animals. He was in the presence of the Holy. There he was tempted to stray from his beliefs and values. It was a time of self-exploration and discovery. In the wilderness, he was tempted to listen to the voices that lead away from God. We do not know exactly what happened during these forty days but it was a profound experience. What we do know is, that in his encounter with God and his interior abandonment to God, he received the clarity, conviction and courage to accept and begin his mission.
Your ways, O God, make known to me; teach me your paths.
Think of your own life experience, your own deserts and wild animals. What did it mean? How did it change you?
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
“This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Life is simple. We are living in a world that is absolutely transparent and God is shining through all of the time. This is just not a fable or nice story. It is true. If we abandon ourselves to God and forget ourselves, we see it sometimes, and we see it maybe more frequently. God shows Himself everywhere, in everything—in people and in things and in nature and events. It becomes very obvious that God is everywhere and in everything and we cannot be without God. It’s impossible. The only thing is that we don’t know it.
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
Silence is our true teacher because it speaks the language of our soul.
With a closed mind and heart, the light cannot enter.
Shelby Taylor Weaver
Solitude is the place of purification.
Solitude is the great teacher, and to learn its lessons you must pay attention to it.
God takes everyone he loves through a desert. It is his cure for our wandering hearts, restlessly searching for a new Eden… The best gift of the desert is God’s presence… The protective love of the Shepherd gives me courage to face the interior journey.
Paul E. Miller
The task is to persevere in my solitude, to stay in my cell until all my seductive visitors get tired of pounding on my door and leave me alone. The wisdom of the desert is that the confrontation with our own frightening nothingness forces us to surrender ourselves totally and unconditionally to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
The desert is a place of passage, of wandering, or even of exile where love is accompanied by the anguish rooted in our ultimate incompleteness, which, however, reveals our true nature. The difference of the other shows us the gap in our vision of ourselves, the world, and God. This kind of self-knowledge is never easy to accept, but it leads us from slavery to freedom.