- Each month the team working on this catechism presents you
with two texts, and we hope that with your help and cooperation
they will improve. Any suggestions you may have would be most
welcome, as would ideas on subject matter.
- We look forward to hearing from you.
Experience of the desert
The desert is more a spiritual feeling than a location to
visit. Going into the wilderness is an undesired experience,
done by many, Christians and non-Christians. Like in each person's
life you have "to go into the wilderness", it could
be the city, your own family or the hospital
abruptly the loneliness. Loneliness helps you to recognize the
truth of your existence.
The desert is not a place to stay otherwise you die. To go into
the desert means you need to go over a difficult period, possibly
dangerous. You leave what you have behind before to go to the
other side. The Holy Spirit drove Jesus to the desert, so that
he could be alone, to face himself. It was for him the time to
make great choices in his life. The Hebrew people had been driven
to the desert to prepare themselves for the adventure of conquering
the Promised Land.
In a spiritual desert, the usual landmarks have been lost: a
profession, health, a social status or a beloved one. You come
face to face with your loneliness. Every thing collapses. Our
security has disappeared, you no longer feel safe. Facing this
unforeseen and sudden situation, you would like to reverse it
but it is impossible. You must make other choices, you must conduct
new struggles, and in fact you must create a new life.
Some believers have the temptation to make it without God. Why
cannot we live without Him? Be happy without Him? You have been
confident in Him and then difficult times arrive but He is silent.
The desert is not only the place and time that we are tested.
It is also the favorable time when God comes into our hearts
and makes us discover His presence, a time of reunion for a new
youthfulness. New calls are addressed to us; they give a meaning
to our life. A time of conversion, which opens us up to something
that we have not imagined.
The experience of the desert demonstrates that you cannot escape
yourself, you are faced with yourself. You have then the opportunity
to venture and be yourself at last.