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A WORD IN LENT: Wilderness

And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.     MARK 1:11-13

   The wilderness is commonly understood as a physical place and one that is typically undisturbed by human development, There is in the wildness a special kind of profound silence that is only found in such places. It was in this wilderness setting that John the Baptist realized his prophetic call. Jesus was led to the wilderness to be tested. The earliest desert Mothers and Fathers found escape from the distractions of urban life and were able to focus on the things of God in the wilderness. 

   There is also the wilderness of the human experience. It is a wilderness that lives within the human condition. It can be a place of many temptations that pull us away from God. But it can also be the place where the interior silence cultivates solitude and refreshes our soul. It is a place where we can hear the echoes of our ancestors that can be heard in the stillness of our being. It is the place within us where we can hear the still small voice of the Divine.

  Maybe this is what Jesus was inviting us to when he said: "Come to me all who are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls."    Matthew 11:28-29   

Brother Dennis

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