The Spiritual Battle That Is Lent
“Lent always involves a battle, a spiritual battle, because the spirit of evil naturally opposes our sanctification and seeks to divert us from the way of God.
Upon starting his public ministry, Jesus had to expose and reject the false images of the Messiah that the tempter proposed. But these temptations are false images of man, and during all times undermine the conscience, disguised and proposed as affordable, effective and even good.
The tempter is sneaky; he does not go directly to evil, but to a false good, making one believe that the true reality is power and that this meets one’s basic needs. God becomes secondary in this way; [he] ultimately becomes unreal because he no longer matters and thus vanishes.
But in hindsight we are at crossroads — do we want to follow the I or God? The individual interest or the real good and what is really good? As the Fathers of the Church teach us, temptations are part of the ‘descent’ of Jesus in our human condition and in the abyss of sin as well as of its consequences.
Jesus is the hand that God has tended to man, the lost sheep, to bring him back to safety. Jesus took our temptations to give us his victory. The important thing is that we do this with him, with the Victor.
Lent is a time of "conversion and penance” and a “favorable time to rediscover faith in God as the criterion of our life and the life of the Church."
The Church, which is mother and teacher, calls all her members to be renewed in the spirit, to reorient closely to God, denying pride and selfishness in order to live in love."
~by Pope Benedict XVI 2013