Lent 5: Your ordinary desert

The Christian religion asks us to put our trust not in ideas, and certainly not in ideologies, but in a God who was vulnerable enough to become human and die, a God who desires to be present in our ordinary circumstances.  {Kathleen Norris}

Captured by pirates and enslaved in Ireland, the son of a respectable British family was wrenched from his comfortable Christian faith & home.  Yet in the "desert"  captivity, that teenager met God in ordinary--yet extraordinary--ways. That man who would be called Saint Patrick wrote:

I was made to shepherd the flocks day after day, and, as I did so, I would pray all the time, right through the day. More and more the love of God and fear of him grew strong within me, and as my faith grew, so the Spirit became more and more active...Although I might be staying in a forest or out on a mountainside, it would be the same; even before dawn broke, I would be aroused to pray.  In snow, in frost in rain, I was always full of energy, due to the fervor of the Spirit within me. 

Ordinary life, with its contraints and routines, can be a desert of its own kind.  Where are you encountering God there?

Karen Wright Marsh, Executive Director                  

Let us remember that the life in which we ought to be interested is 'daily' life.  We can, each of us, only call the present time our own...Our Lord tells us to pray for today, and so God prevents us from tormenting ourselves about tomorrow.  It is as if God were to say to us, "It is I who gives you this day and will also give you what you need for this day.  It is I who makes the sun to rise.  It is I who scatters the darkness of night and reveals to you the rays of the sun." {Gregory of Nyssa, 4th century}