Following Jesus to the Desert
Dear friend, if at this moment you feel a ‘soft impulse’ that invites you to stop, to go to your inner self… it is the Holy Spirit who acts in you.
Let yourself be led to the Desert, impelled by the Holy Spirit. The Desert does not necessarily have to be a place of still nature, but essentially a state of silence and solitude, which you must seek for yourself; even if you live in a city full of noise and you are rushed by responsibility. The essence of the Desert is silence and solitude. We must stop! , in order to listen, see, seek answers…
Right now, let yourself be driven and say:
Guide me clear light, guide me further and further. Guide my steps. I do not ask you to make me see now, what You reserve for me later. One step is enough, for me, for the moment. But always guide me further. Amen
If you are already silent and in solitude, you are already in a secluded desert.
Now, stand under the gaze of God who is Love. Look into your heart and listen. For it is in the secret of your heart that God awaits you.
The urgent thing is to let You, my God, speak within me.
This was the inner temperature of Jesus, when he retired to pray; and also that which he lived, in the long days he spent in the desert, before being baptized and consecrated for his mission.
Imagine Jesus, as you are now. Alone, internalized and in intimate prayer with his God and Father.
Make the following words yours and try to feel and experience what Jesus felt when he said:
• My Father, may I glorify your name.
• Father, You and I are one and the same.
• You are with me.
• All that I am is yours.
• Here I am, Lord, to do your will.
Imagine Jesus clad in serenity, meekness and humility, approaching the line of sinners to be baptized, as one more, by the Baptist.
Come to Him so you may be baptized as well. Yes, baptized with a baptism of humility, of detachment, of self emptiness…… and tell Him
Lord Jesus, meek and humble.
From the dust I feel controlled by this unquenchable thirst to be admired, the urgent need to be loved by others. My heart is full of impossible dreams.
I crave for redemption, My God, have Mercy.
I simply cannot forgive; resentment consumes me, criticism hurts me, failure devastates me, rivalry frightens me.
My heart is conceited. Give me the grace of humility, my Lord, gentle and meek of heart.
I do not know the origin of this insane appetite to impose my will, to eliminate any rival, to consent to vengeance. I do what I do not want to do. Have mercy, Lord and give me the grace of humility.
Enormous chains encircle my heart; this heart subdues and takes over all that I am and all that I do, everything that surrounds me. And these appropriations generate so many fears in me. Poor me, owner of myself! Who will break my chains? Only Your grace, my poor and humble Lord. Give me the grace of humility.
The grace to forgive with my heart. The grace to accept criticism and contradiction, or at least the grace to doubt myself when I am corrected.
Give me the grace of self-examination.
The grace to remain undisturbed by scorn, neglect, and indifference; to truly feel happiness in being unknown; to discourage feelings, words, and actions of self-satisfaction.
Lord, open free spaces in me so that they may be filled by You and my brothers and sisters.
Then, my Lord Jesus Christ, give me the grace to slowly acquire an unattached and open heart like yours; a meek, patient, and kind heart. Christ Jesus, gentle and meek of heart, make my heart like Yours. Amen
(Prayer of 41 in the Encounter book “The Grace of Humility”)
Make a moment of silence, as the words that Jesus heard while he was baptized resound within you, being aware that the Merciful Father also addresses you with these same words:
“You are my beloved son, in whom I am pleased”
Ponder on these words, for a few moments.
Come out of the Desert holding Jesus hand, feeling blessed and sent into the world to bear witness.
Send me, Lord, and in your name I will go, to testify, with my own life, that You live in me.