In the Desert
March 30, 2020
Filed In: Philosophy
What a Lent this has been. We’re familiar with the story of Jesus going out into the desert for 40 days, but never before have we had such an acute experience of that kind of isolation. While in the desert, angels ministered to him and Satan tempted him, but he was truly alone. No humans to keep him company.
I will not forget the profound spiritual experience of these last few weeks. I’ve become desensitized to the lull of my modern life. I’ve been unable to walk into a grocery store and have the confidence that I’ll be able to get the supplies that I need. I’ve been unable to ignore the human suffering in my neighborhood and in the world beyond. I’ve been unable to enter into a Church or physically receive the sacraments. I’ve been in the desert.
What’s interesting about the desert is how it clarifies things. It’s easier to discern between wants and needs. It’s easier to discern what things matter most. It’s easier to find time to pray when you have an empty schedule.
Major global events have a way of changing the way that people act, behave, and operate. When things get back to “normal,” they will be different. I hope that this desert spirituality is one of those things that’s different. I hope that the spiritual experience of this time alone redoubles my trust in God. I hope that routine and monotony don’t steal my joy. I hope that I will continue to cultivate my prayer life and seek to do God’s will before my own. I hope that I will bring the desert back into my normal life.