Excepts below from The Mystical City of God
Jesus in the Wilderness Surrounded by Angels by Charles de La Fosse, 1690; The Hermitage, Saint Petersburg, Russia
By His heroic exercises
of virtue He wished to give
us the first lesson of a
Christian and spiritual
life and to teach us by
these triumphs of Christian
perfection, how we are to
strengthen our weakness
and discourage our common
enemies by continued battle
and victories, lest we be
otherwise delivered over to
them by the fluctuations of
our own wills.
Although the Lord, as being God,
was infinitely above the demon and,
as man without deceit of sin,
supremely holy and the Master over
all creation (I Pet. 2, 22); He
nevertheless wished to overcome in
His human nature, by His personal
justice and holiness, all the vices
and their author; and, therefore,
He offered his most holy humanity
to the bufferings of temptation,
concealing His superiority from His
Without delay Christ our Lord pursued His journey from the
Jordan to the desert after his Baptism. Only his holy angels
attended and accompanied Him, serving and worshipping Him,
singing the divine praises on account of what He was now about
to undertake for the salvation of mankind. He came to the place
chosen by Him for his fast: a desert spot among bare and beetling
rocks, where there was also a cavern much concealed.
Here He halted, choosing it for his habitation during the days of his
fast (Matth. 4, 1). In deepest humility He prostrated Himself
upon the ground which was always the prelude of his prayer and that of
his most blessed Mother. He praised the eternal Father and gave Him
thanks for the works of His divine right hand and for having according
to his pleasure afforded Him this retirement. In a suitable manner He
thanked even this desert for accepting His presence and keeping Him
hidden from the world during the time He was to spend there. He continued
His prayers prostrate in the form of a cross, and this was his most
frequent occupation in the desert; for in this manner He often prayed to
the eternal Father for the salvation of men. During these prayers He
sometimes sweated blood.
After the Savior had begun his fast He persevered
therein without eating anything for forty days, offering
up his fast to the eternal Father as a satisfaction for the
disorder and sins to which men are drawn by the so vile and
debasing, yet so common and even so much esteemed vice of gluttony.
Just as our Lord over came this vice so He also vanquished all
the rest, and He made recompense to the eternal Judge and supreme
Legislator for the injuries perpetrated through these vices by men.
According to the enlightenment vouchsafed to me, our Savior, in order
to assume the office of Preacher and Teacher and to become our Mediator
and Redeemer before the Father, thus vanquished all the vices of mortals
and He satisfied the offenses committed through them by the exercises of
the virtues contrary to them, just as He did in regard to gluttony.
Although He continued this exercise during all his life with the most
ardent charity, yet during his fast He directed in a special manner all
his efforts toward this purpose.
A loving Father, whose sons have committed great crimes
for which they are to endure the most horrible punishment,
sacrifices all his possessions in order to ward off their
impending fate: so our most loving Father and Brother,
Jesus Christ, wished to pay our debts.
In satisfaction for
our pride He offered His profound humility; for our avarice,
His voluntary poverty and total privation of all that was His;
for our base and lustful inclinations, His penance and austerity;
for our hastiness and vengeful anger, His meekness and charity
toward all enemies; for our negligence and laziness, His ceaseless
labors; for our deceitfulness and our envy, His candid and upright
sincerity and truthfulness and the sweetness of His love and His treatment.
In this manner He continued to appease the just Judge and solicited
pardon for us disobedient and bastard children; and He not only obtained
this pardon for them, but He merited for them new graces, gifts and deliverances, so
that with them they might make themselves worthy of His eternal company and of seeing
His Father and Himself, in their participation and inheritance for all eternity. Though He could
have obtained all this for us by the most insignificant of his works; yet
He acted not like we. He demonstrated his love so abundantly, that our
ingratitude and hardness of heart will have no excuse.
While the Savior was in the desert He made every day
three hundred genuflections, which also was done by our
Queen Mary in her oratory; the other portions of her time
She spent in composing hymns with the angels. Thus imitating
Christ the Lord, the Holy Queen co-operated with Him in all
His prayers and petitions, gaining the same victories over
the vices, and on her part proportionately satisfying for
them by her virtues and her exertions. Thus it happened,
that, while Christ as our Redeemer gained for us so many
blessings and abundantly paid all our debts, most holy Mary,
as His co-adjuticator and our Mother, interposed her merciful
intercession with Him and became our Mediatrix to the fullest
extent possible for a mere creature.
Prayer for Inner Healing
Lord Jesus, You came to heal
our wounded and troubled hearts,
I beg You to heal the torments that
cause anxiety in my heart;
I beg You in a particular way,
to heal all who are the cause of sin.
I beg You to come into my life
And heal me of the psychological harms
that struck me in my early years,
and from the injuries that they caused
throughout my life.
Lord Jesus, You know my burdens,
I lay them all on Your Good Shepherds’ Heart.
I beseech You - by the merits of the great,
open Wound in Your heart - to heal
the small wounds that are in mine.
Heal the pain of my memories,
so that nothing that has happened to me
will cause me to remain in pain and anguish,
filled with anxiety.
Heal, O Lord, all these wounds
that have been the cause of all
the evil that is rooted in my life,
I want to forgive
all those who have
Look to those inner sores
that make me unable to forgive.
You who came to forgive the afflicted of heart,
please, heal my own heart.
Heal, my Lord Jesus, those intimate wounds
that cause me physical illness.
I offer You my heart.
Accept it, Lord, purify it and give me
the sentiments of Your Divine Heart.
Help me to be meek and humble.
Heal me, O Lord,
from the pain caused by death
of my loved ones, which is oppressing me.
Grant me to regain peace and joy
in the knowledge that You are the
Resurrection and the Life.
Make me an authentic witness
to your Resurrection,
Your victory over sin and death,
Your living presence among us.
Prayer by Fr. Gabriele Amorth from his book An Exorcist Tells His Story, Appendix: Prayers of Deliverance; Ignatius Press; 1990
Lent - 40 Days in the Desert - Jesus Christ takes on our vices to strengthen and heal us
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