Our Lenten readings begin with the temptation of Jesus in the desert. In the video below, Fr. Barron discusses how we are tempted in much the same ways that Jesus was:
"The devil tries to order our lives toward something other than our Creator...."
We are all meant to enter the desert with Jesus during Lent and confront the ways that the devil is tempting us to center our lives on something other than God.
C.S. Lewis' book, The Screwtape Letters illustrates this idea. In it, a "senior" devil gives advice to another devil telling him that mediocrity is really their goal for every person they tempt, the most sure-fire way to get someone to hell. The senior devil advises that it does not make sense to lead a person to really serious sin because there is always the danger they may have a dramatic conversion and become a saint.
Are we mediocre in our response to God's love?
What is diverting our attention from our Creator? Are we in danger of living a life where our focus is on other things and other people, even during the few hours a week that we may be in a place of worship?
Fr. Barron points out that we often seek things outside of God in sensual pleasure (sex, but also food, entertainment, etc), honor, and glory (self-centered living) - all of the things that Jesus was tempted with in the desert.
Even the smallest things can be seriously diverting our attention from God - coffee, Facebook, our iPhone. How many times a day do we think about getting our coffee fix or checking Facebook in comparison to how many times we think about and converse with God? (It was not long after I kept thinking of potential Facebook statuses in mass that I realized I really needed to take a break from social media for a while).
Dear friends, let us enter this Lenten time with enthusiasm and passion. Let us strip ourselves these forty days of at least one thing in our life that lead us away from God. After the initial pain of letting go, we will start to feel a peace that is not found in anything other than living for and with God.
What is God asking you to let go of?
It is usually the one thing you are holding on to the tightest.