We thank you, Father, for those days in the desert when,
through prayer and fasting,
Jesus discovered your will for his life
and overcame the temptations of the Evil One.
Help us, during these days of Lent,
to come close to you and to listen to your voice.
Give us strength to overcome the temptations
to please ourselves and live life without you.
Teach us your way. For Jesus’ sake.
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
Thanks be to God, the almighty,
the king of the universe, for all his mercies,
and heartfelt thanks to the Savior and Redeemer of our souls,
Jesus Christ, through whom we pray
that his peace may keep us stable and unshaken
from troubles outside and troubles within the heart.
Let me obediently sing aloud the new song,
because after those terrifying dark sights and stories
I was now privileged to see and celebrate such things
that many righteous men and martyrs of God before us
desired to see on earth and did not see,
and to hear and did not hear.
But they attained far better things in heaven; whereas I,
acknowledging that even my present lot is better than I deserve,
have been more than amazed at the bountiful grace of its author,
and am duly filled with wonder,
worshipping him with my soul’s full strength.
Eusebius of Caesarea, c. 260- c.340, Christian historian and bishop
2000 Years of Prayer freely modified
And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”
Saint Paul and the burning of pagan books at Ephesus, By Lucio Massari 1612 Wikimedia Commons