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By Fr Robert Barron (wordonfire.org)

We have come, once more, to the end of the holy season of Lent. Lent is, by its nature, a desert time, which is to say, a time of simplicity, purification, and asceticism. In so many of the great figures of salvation history – Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, David, etc. – a period of testing or trial is required before they can commence their work. We see the same thing in the initiation rituals of primal peoples as well – and you can see it in Luke Skywalker’s initiation in Star Wars. The goal of the initiation rituals is to inculcate in the initiate this simple truth: your life is not about you.

When we began this foray into the desert, we looked at the temptations that faced Jesus and, by extension, all of us. The desert represents a stripping away so as to make the fundamental things appear. In the desert, there are no distractions or diversions or secondary matters. Everything is basic, necessary, simple. One survives or one doesn’t. One discovers in the desert strengths and weaknesses he didn’t know he had.

So how have you done in your desert these forty days? How have you dealt with temptations to sensual pleasure, power, and glory? Even if you have not completely succeeded in the way you wanted, remember: our God is a God of second chances. As we enter into the final days before Easter, renew your commitment and start again.

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