one day at a time
Hope The season of Lent brings to mind stretches of desert, ashes on foreheads, fasting and waiting for the victory of Christ Conqueror of sin and death. The desert of Christâ€™s 40 days and 40 nights of fasting and prayer looked back to the 40 years spent by the Chosen People in the desert before they passed over into the Promised Land. That desert retreat of the Savior prefigures our own desertsâ€Ś.the empty wastes within us and in the society around us. We see evidence of the desert in the violence within relationships, the economic crisis, political confusion and chaos around the globe, moral decay. We seem unable to find the place to start afresh. We come up with plans, organizations, rallies, posters, taglines, and in the end are disappointed that nothing has really changed after all the enthusiastic effort.
You, O Christ, wish to meet us in our deserts, to walk through the hot sands of our disappointment, to be shelter for us, and promise, and thirst. Never are we more ourselves than when you happen to us, when you manifest yourself to us as the complete fulfillment of every desire we have for totality and meaning and joy. Our life as Christians began with Christ revealing himself to us, provoking within us a response, the gushing forth of a fountain of amazement and awe. God intervenes in our history to offer us the faith that will give us eternal life. Then we get lost in the labyrinthine stories we create about who is doing what, who is creating what problems, who is not fulfilling what promises. Faith, over time, becomes reduced to the demands
we put on God and others to provide what we want, an excuse to blame our irresponsibility on the organization. We reduce the Mystery to our measure and then wonder why our faith seems as dry as a desert or God as silent as the cloudless sky. These days I have been reflecting on my own faith, the shriveled up little plant of my heart’s belief. In his mercy, God reached into my poverty and opened a torrent of desire. “YOU!” It is a prayer now always on my lips. “YOU!” O Christ, it is You who make me and speak to me. It is You, O Christ, who flood the world with your presence. It is You, whom I so often miss in my energetic walking to get a project done in Your name. “YOU!”