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Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Feb 07, 2013 | Comments (0)


First Sunday in Lent: The Temptation of Jesus

Bottom Line Spirituality: Worldly and Godly Thinking

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for The First Sunday in Lent

Godly Abiding Spiritually in Jesus Changes the Meaning of What we See Worldly When Not Abiding in Jesus.

Spirituality is our innate ability to feel the difference worldly or godly thinking makes to the way scripture translates to our daily life and relationships.

Luke 4:1-13 “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit was led by the Spirit in the wilderness.”

When we read this scripture in a worldly way we examine rationally each temptation to find its meaning. What is the meaning of changing the stones into bread, but to feed Himself?  What is the meaning of leaping off the top of the Temple, but to show His Power and satisfy His ego? What is the meaning of being given all the Kingdoms of the world, but to satisfy His need for material things? We have found the three meanings as to why Satan tempted Him. That is it. We are done here, on to the rest of the Lenten Season.

Just a minute! There is still another question that the rational cannot grasp. It is the spiritual dimension. It has nothing to do with what the devil was asking of Jesus. It deals with why was he asking it? What was His intention?

Think back to the time the devil said to Him, “All this power will I give You and the glory that is delivered to me, … if You will worship me, all shall be Yours.”  Jesus answered him, “Get behind me, Satan, for it is written, “you shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.” Satan was furious with Jesus. He said, “Just wait, I will be back!” Then the devil left Him for a time.

What was Satan’s intention in tempting Jesus?  It was to get Him to do his will and not God’s will. This is why Jesus came in so harshly on Peter when Peter tried to dissuade Him from talking about His coming death. Jesus turned, on Peter, “Get behind me, Satan: you are an offence to me: for you savor not the things that are of God, but those that are of men.” Matthew 16:23 

Satan similarly wants to get us to do his will rather than God’s will in order to create mayhem in our lives. How does he do this? He traps us in our rational mind to try to change unchangeable things in the past, the present or the future. What this does is to create fear, guilt, stress, worry, hurt, anger and all else that fits into the one term, “MAYHEM”. What mayhem does is to stop our life. It makes us victims of that which we cannot change. It drags us into mazes where we cannot find closure. Walls are set up in the mind of spiritual blindness, fog and heavy burdens. I find myself trapped in unchangeable mayhem many times a day. It happens especially at night time. My mind can be filled with regrets and worries of past events or future tasks. I try to rationalize solutions to feel at peace about them. Mayhem comes in when there is nothing I can do about them for the moment. Then there is no Peace.

How do we get out of this bondage? We need to turn off the rational mind and open the conscious heart. There are several, but not many, ways to do this movement from the head to the heart. Several years ago I discovered how to walk the Chartres Labyrinth virtually. I was able to put the design rationally into my head and then consciously take it to my heart. In my mayhem moments I can now move out of the maze and into the labyrinth. I visually go into and out of the labyrinth design.  

Going into the labyrinth diverts or calms my rational thinking. A few moments in the center and I regain consciousness. When I come out, I discover I can be at Peace when I cannot change the unchangeable, the understanding to change what I can change and the Wisdom to know the difference. At night time, I will start to visualize going through the labyrinth. Sometimes I fall asleep before I can make it all of the way out.

I would love to share with others this new insight.  If you are interested I have a Power Point I can send to you.  Email me at paulnanita@sbcglobal.net.


Spirituality can change your life when we move from the common thought in the head to the spiritual feeling of the Peace of God in our heart. Romans 10:9, “believe in your heart”. We believe with our heart.

 


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