Now the Lenten season is upon us. It is a time for prayer, fasting and almsgiving. It is a general renewal of the spiritual life in preparation for the Easter season, and the celebration of the resurrection of Christ. Although a few other Christian denominations practice some form of Lent, the Catholic and Orthodox Churches are still the place to find the full expression of the Lenten spirit.
In today’s Mass readings (Matthew 4:1-11) we hear the story of Jesus’ journey to the desert, where he fasted for forty days and nights and was tempted by Satan. The first temptation was that of food. Jesus was hungry, and Satan approached him to suggest he turn the stones into bread. Christ’s response was one of the most famous lines of the Bible: “Man does not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God”.
It is always good to be reminded, especially given this blog’s penchant for the celebration of physical–and in particular female–beauty, that there is more to life than simply the world around us. For me, life without the spiritual is empty indeed.
I am not sure where the painting above is from, but I find it to be a good expression of this great passage from Scripture. It also expresses well what many of us may experience went tempted by evil. There can be darkness and difficulties in life, worries and confusions, struggles and deep temptations, but in the end, as Lent reminds us, despite all this there is the ultimate hope of the resurrected Christ.