February 18

Reflection

The Spirit sent Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days
 and he was tempted there.
Mark 1:12-15

 

The wilderness is often a metaphor for a “thin place”. According to this concept rooted in ancient Celtic spirituality, a “thin place” is a place where the visible world of our daily experience and the sacred, the Holy, intersect. It is an experience where these two levels of reality meet. In wilderness times we are tempted to listen to the voices that lead us away from God.  While Jesus was in the desert it was a time of exploration and discovery. He was in the presence of God. There was no comfort there except for God. He was tempted to stray from his values. We do not know exactly what happened during these forty days but it was a transforming 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.

Prayer

Your ways, O God, make known to me; teach me your paths.
Psalm 25 

Action

Have you experienced “thin places” in your life? How has the experience changed you?
Where do you go from here?

Suggested Reading

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.
Mark 1:12-15

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.”
Romans 12:1-2  

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.
Thomas Merton

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
Marcel Proust

Silence is our true teacher because it speaks the language of our soul.
Michael Jeffreys


With a closed mind and heart, the light cannot enter.
Shelby Taylor Weaver

Solitude is the place of purification.
Martin Buber


Solitude is the great teacher, and to learn its lessons you must pay attention to it.
Deepak Chopra


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.
Fabrice Blee

 

 

 

 

 

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