Do we ever just sit in our desert? In our dark night of the soul? In our dryness and spiritual barrenness? Do we ever sit in our humanity and ponder the reality that we are nothing but dust and that we will die, that we are all prone to wander. Why is that? Why don’t we think on these things? What’s going on there? I had a professor once tell say, “we are all dirt bags” referencing Genesis and God creating us out of the dirt. But it’s true right. And maybe, from time to time, it’s helpful to sit there, meditate on our humanity and mortality. Maybe it’s good from time to time in a season like Lent to ponder our bent to wander and fail in that desert every step of the way.

Saint Francis de Salve in his book An Introduction to the Devout Life offers us some guiding meditation on this very subject;

  1. Humble yourself profoundly before God, acknowledging your nothingness and misery. Alas, what am i when left to myself? no better, Lord, than the parched ground, whose cracks and crevices on every side testify to its need of the gracious rain of Heaven, while, nevertheless, the worlds’s blasts wither in more and more dust.

He goes on, gives some meditation and guidance for those wandering in the desert and he says, “after all, nothing is so useful, so fruitful amid this dryness and barrenness, as not to yield to a passionate desire of being delivered from it.” He guides us to sit in our desert and reflect on where we are, letting this desert be for us a refining and preparatory  place in our spiritual journey.

Saint Francis give more guidance on seeking God and praying through this time and seeking God out of the desert but his initial thought and meditation i think are very healthy for us to ponder. So i invite you to sit there and think about that today as you did on Ash Wednesday.

This is a week to take to observe our location during Lent, the desert.