The gift of the Spirit constitutes in a real way an immediate entry into eternal life; for by virtue of the indwelling Spirit the Christian shares in God’s own divine nature.
Remember the phrase, love the sinner but hate the sin? Sadly, it has fallen out of fashion for a newer, more popular one: Love me, love my sins.
The entire meaning of Lent, Holy Thursday, the Easter Triduum, can be summed up in this sentence from the gospel of John, “He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end,” since it speaks about the entire content of the life and mission of Jesus Christ; that is, to love his disciples and his brethren—us, you, me, humanity—to the very end.
The desert is a place of harshness, trial, desolation, and isolation. I’ve been in the desert, as have you, as has every Christian. It’s a place where the wind is witheringly hot in summer and biting cold in winter. It’s lonely. It’s painful. It can be frightening.
The lenten discipline of fasting opens up the true horizon of life’s meaning, purifying us of unhealthy material attachments and opening the way for the eternal Word to penetrate our hearts.