The temptation of Jesus in the desert
In applying the means which I have just proposed - means that furnish us with those weapons of fight which we should constantly employ against the infernal host - we will not lack temptations of fear, reluctance, sloth or anger. They will disturb our spirit in order to blind us to the importance of the priesthood, to withhold from us whatever is conducive to its success, and to discourage us in the face of opposition. But let us be united in our endeavor to conquer the flatteries and deceptions of the tempter lest we “at any time let my enemy say: I have prevailed against him.” Since the demon is incessantly bent upon defeating every good work, how many more efforts will he not make towards hindering the great work of our apostolate? On the other hand, let us always keep in mind, “There is nothing I cannot master with the help of the One who gives me strength.” “Who will separate us from the love of Christ?”
St. Gaspar is speaking to priests, to his fellow missionaries, but these principles are important for all of us. He reminds us that even though we have the means to fight the wiles of the Adversary, there will still be times of temptation. There has not been a great deal said about the devil lately. Too often he is dismissed as something from our childhood faith. As a result in our own culture the term temptation is dismissed as something insignificant or is limited to things like candy, chocolate, alcohol and sex. When we pray, “lead us not into temptation” we are asking God to keep us away from the fundamental choice between life and death. We have already chosen life, life in Christ, but there is still much to distract us, to lead us away from that choice.
There were three temptations thrown at Jesus in today’s gospel. He is tempted to find meaning and security in something that is not God, He is tempted to make God prove his love by some supernatural sign, and he is tempted by power. He confronts the struggle with evil, armed with the Word of God. This is not simply knowledge of a text. He is in an intimate relationship with the Father, a relationship so close that he IS the Word. St. Gaspar knew more than the text. He was in a deep relationship with the Word of God, so much so that in every letter what he says reflects his experience with the Scriptures.
This Lent we are called into a deeper relationship with God through prayer, meditation on the Word of God, and works of charity. It is this relationship with the Word of God as a person that will be our strength in our confrontation with evil in our life. Lent is a time to prepare Catechumens to be received into the faith, and it is a time for believers to prepare to renew their baptismal vows, to once again renounce Satan and profess allegiance to the God of life. One way to do this would be to open the scripture more, to spend time with them, and to go beyond the written text to the one who is the Word of God.
- What are my excuses for not reading and praying the scriptures daily?
- What are the distractions or temptations that lead me away from my relationship with God?
- How do I confront evil in my own life?
 From the Third Circular letter
 Psalm 13:5
. Phil 4:13
 Rom 8:35