Transformation in the desert

As we remain in the desert called Lent (fasting and almsgiving, examination of conscience and confession, inner prayer and more silence, spiritual books, and other Lenten discipline), we get to know God more closely. In Lent we also learn more about our weaknesses and fears, wounds and hidden faults and motives.
At the same time we must never forget that Christ, by rejecting the evil One and renouncing all temptations, and by accepting the Cross, extinguished in his body hostility, which blocked our hearts and separated us from each other. It means that in Christ there are no obstacles for generosity of our charity towards another. We are literally free to love like Christ has loved us. If we then accept Christ in our life, we allow Him to dwell in us and have companionship with him, also at the point when we openly uncover to Him the state of our soul and let him crucify in us our habits and tendencies: tendencies to pride and to seek power, to impurity and passions that feed our ego. He indeed comes to our aid: I will melt you down and skim off your slag. I will remove all your impurities (Isaiah 1:25). 
It may be a painful challenge to lay open our body to drag out of ourselves all our sins, bad habits and tendencies, with the intention to pin them to the Cross of Christ and to kill them all. However, apart from sacrifices out of our generosity, also in this context we are encouraged by St Paul: I appeal to you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice (Rom 12:1).
Importantly, we should never forget that we are created in the image and likeness of God to do noble deeds, that we are immersed in the Loving Presence of God. Otherwise, the temptation to escape the desert and come back to our old negative and obsessive thoughts, bad habits and practices would be irresistible. Without more consistent prayer, particularly inner prayer, we will not survive long.
As God promised to transform us, if we cooperate with him, he will work on us and sculpt out of our poor souls a new creation. He will keep us in perfect peace if our mind is bent on Him, because we trust in him.

Fr Stan

Categories: Reflections