Reading the Word
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread,” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”
Reflecting on the Word
Wormwood to his demonic apprentice:
Sooner or later [God] withdraws, if not in fact, at least from their conscious experience, all those supports and incentives. He leaves the creature to stand on its own legs—to carry out from the will alone duties which have lost all relish. It is during such trough periods, much more than during the peak periods, that it is growing into the sort of creature He wants it to be. Hence the prayers offered in the state of dryness are those which please Him best. We can drag our patients along by continual tempting, because we design them only for the table, and the more their will is interfered with the better. He cannot “tempt” to virtue as we do to vice. He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles.
C. S. Lewis
The Screwtape Letters
Responding to the Word
O God, there are things about which I can’t talk to anyone except you. There are things in me about which no one knows except myself and you.
The things which I should not even want fascinate me. The thoughts which I should never allow into my mind, I cannot keep out.
So far I have resisted wrong things, but I know my own weakness, and I am afraid of myself.
O God, come to me with your cleansing power, and make me to overcome evil and to do the right.
I ask even more—fill me with such a love of you that I will not even want to sin anymore.
This I ask for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
A Guide to Daily Prayer