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Finding Faith: Walking with Christ in the desert

By REV. JOSEPH ORR

The devil does his best work when we ignore him. People rarely begin by choosing the path of sin and death. In small ways without even knowing it we let ourselves be led into temptation; until unexpectedly we find ourselves dwelling in darkness.

We need to be attentive and proactive if we wish to thwart the machinations of Satan and his followers.

Jesus gave us an excellent example by intentionally confronting the devil. Moved by the Holy Spirit he went out into a dry arid land where there was little water or nourishment.

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was hungry.” Matthew 4:1-2

Jesus deprived himself of comfort and sustenance. He endured hot days and cold nights while fasting in order to prove himself lord of his own flesh. With Jesus weakened the devil took his best shots as he often does with us, but the inner strength of our Lord proved victorious.

“Then Jesus said to him, ‘Begone, Satan! for it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.“‘ Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and ministered to him.” Matthew 4:10-11

During the holy season of Lent (40 days and 40 nights), Christians since the first century have taken a walk with Jesus in prayer and fasting through the desolate regions of our souls. It is a time for us to confront our human weakness as Jesus did. And prepare ourselves for conflict with the devil through which he seeks to find purchase in our lives.

Feb. 26 is Ash Wednesday. It marks the beginning of our sojourn with Jesus. Perhaps this year you might make a personal commitment to walk with Jesus in prayer and fasting confronting your faults and seeking the strengthening of the Holy Spirit so as not to be caught off guard by the devil.

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Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column comes from Rev. Fr. Joseph Orr of Holy Spirit Catholic Parish, Lock Haven.

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