I wonder what we have in common with the desert fathers who sought the way to God by spending vast times of solitude in the desert. Theirs were lives of austerity. Ours most certainly were not. Theirs were lives filled with stretches and spaces of silence, ours have the continual din of machinery, television, radio, streaming internet, and the like. Theirs were lives filled with a deep, abiding sense of interior peace for which we long. Is there a bridge between their time and ours? Is it the symbolism contained in poetry, such as T.S. Elliott’s The Wasteland or in his choruses from The Rock? The coming of Lent always reminds me how spiritually impoverished we are. Sophisticated though we may have become, yet we still have the need of God. And, if ever there were times that cried out for the practice of interior peace, surely the times of disquietude in which we live cry all the more loudly for that peace.
If it is true that the Epiphany season is that time of the year when we explore the exuberance of the call of God in Jesus Christ, then it is Lent that is the season that we are invited to focus on how we grow in our lives with Jesus over time. Epiphany celebrates the newness of the call of the Lord who says, “Come follow me.”
Lent is the season for those who are serious about becoming disciples of Jesus; for those of greater maturity. It is the season in which we intentionally explore the practice of interior peace—where we take the courageous step to search for Jesus in the time alone and in the desert.
I pray that we might find this Lenten Season a time of rediscovering the ways in which we might grow closer in the love of Jesus our Lord, particularly in the desert spaces of our lives.