From:                     on behalf of 40 Day Contemplative Lenten Challenge <>

Sent:                               Monday, February 22, 2021 2:06 PM

To:                                   Karen Benson

Subject:                          RESEND OF Day 5: February 21, 2021


  Feb. 21st  First Sunday in Lent Link to Daily Readings ; Gn 9:8-15 Ps 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9 1 Pt 3:18-22  Mt 4:4b Mk 1:12-15 Resource Links: Introduction to 40 Day Contemplative Lenten Challenge Fasting and Prayer Contemplative...







Feb. 21st 

First Sunday in Lent


Link to Daily Readings;

Gn 9:8-15

Ps 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

1 Pt 3:18-22 

Mt 4:4b

Mk 1:12-15


Resource Links:


PRESENCE OF GOD – Holy Spirit, drive me deep into the desert of my soul so that in confronting my sinfulness I may be purified by You. 



The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. (Mk 1:12) 


When we accept that invitation to follow Christ, we will be confronted with our own sinfulness and the enormous sense of unworthiness.  Look at the example of Peter after the accepting Jesus’ invitation and the miraculous catch of fish; “Depart from me, Lord for I am a sinful man.”   


Yet we are not alone in our sinfulness.  Jesus like us in all things but sin underwent the same temptations that we do.  He was driven into the desert for 40 days to be tempted by Satan. A period of forty was considered to be a sacred time.  It was a time Yahweh used before major changes and transformations. 

The 40 days of rain with Noah, Moses fasting for 40 days before receiving the 10 commandments, the 40 years the Israelites were in the desert before entering the promised land.  The desert is the place for confronting our sinfulness and allowing God to purify us.  Jesus spent that time in prayer, fasting, and solitude and so should we.  And in that solitude, we not only grow closer to God, but also learn more about ourselves in the process, because as we draw closer to God, we also experience the increased attention of the Deceiver, who tries to draw us away from God even as we try to grow closer.  Jesus experienced this in his 40 days, and we will as well.  Yet our faith and love cannot be strengthened unless it is tested, and this is what the desert is for.   


Resolve this Lent to find a place of solitude, a desert, where you can go to pray for at least an hour each day.  A place to sit in silence with the Lord.  Spend some time with our Lord in the chapel.  Allow the light of Christ to penetrate into every nook and cranny of your soul, exposing what is imperfect and problematic in you.  Pay attention to what temptations you experience.  Is it to sensual pleasures?  To power?  To be honored by others?  It is through those temptations that we learn what areas of our lives need grace the most. As we become aware of those problem areas in our lives, take them to the Sacrament of Reconciliation where we receive the grace to overcome them. 


Jesus spent those 40 days preparing for His mission, so too must we use these 40 days of Lent to prepare for ours.  To be ready to do His will no matter what is asked of us.   



Come Holy Spirit, fill me with grace.  Send me into the silence of the desert.  Help me in my prayer and fasting to confront the temptations that arise from my sinful nature.  Give me the grace to grow in humility so that I recognize my own misery and my need for mercy.  Deepen my faith so that I may always have the confidence to ask recourse to God.  Let me also, not be discouraged by my continual failings.  Help me to realize that the real evil is not in falling as in failing to rise again.  Let me in my temptations and sinfulness, cry out as the 10 lepers cried; Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.   









Sent by Karen Benson












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