Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

February 17, 2017

Guided Meditation: Temptation in the Desert

Lead this guided meditation with your students at the beginning of Lent. It is based on the temptation of Jesus in the desert from Matthew 4:1-11 from Time with Jesus by Thomas F. Catucci. Quiet the students. Choose some instrumental background music as needed. Begin the reading. Pause briefly at every ellipse. Pause a bit longer at each line break. Pause a bit longer than that at each paragraph break.

And we pray:

Loving God …

We come to you with open heart as we meditate.

We want to be confident of your love, but sometimes our doubt undermines our total trust.

We pray today that you will deepen our faith so that we may rely on you more completely.

We pray that your kingdom will unfold in our lives.

That your kingdom may become real

And that we too may be real.

With your eyes still closed.

Take a slow journey.

Travel to a place where you can be all alone.

Where no one else would venture to intrude.

A place where there are no distractions…nothing fancy…a place where you can think…and be still…

With your eyes closed…see the emptiness around you…like a void.

Feel the loneliness.

Know how vulnerable you are…how unprotected…you are alone with nothing else around you

And now with your eyes closed…look inside yourself and search for some kind of trust.

In your solitude…can you find any kind of trust within you?

Is there someone you trust in?

What kind of trust is it?

Who or what have you placed your trust in?

What will protect you?

Be aware suddenly that there is someone else nearby and that are not alone.

You look around…but you see no one…you are sure that someone is near…someone that you can’t see…yet you feel safe.

So just rest and relax a moment and trust your feelings.

Feel the presence of the other person.

Feel their goodness and gentleness.

Feel the presence of this person’s incredible understanding and forgiveness.

Feel the gentle softness of this love.

This feeling is like drawing near to God.

Know that God is with you…that Jesus is with you…even though you don’t see him.

Know that God is with you in a special way right now.

And rest in this loving presence of God.

Rest and be at peace.

Peace.

And still…even though you can’t see the Lord…know that he is near.

Very near.

Bur in a strange way you are still alone.

Quietly reflect by yourself what your real needs are.

Think about what you really desire for yourself…not for anyone else….but something that you really crave and have decided that you want more than anything else.

In this quiet and lonely place…with your imagination…build a scene…like a movie…build a scene that represents how or when you are tempted to satisfy your own inner cravings and desires.

Know that the needs of others will become unimportant…because your desires are stronger than theirs.

Know that deep down…you want to have those cravings satisfied.

Imagine what you must do for yourself to satisfy those longings…to get whatever you are aching for…knowing that no one will ever know what you are fully feeling.

Perhaps it is as if you are controlled by your craving.

But what you ache for.

And now you can feel the Lord…Jesus puts his gentle hand on your shoulder.

The Lord whispers into your ear.

And he tells you that he understands…he knows…because he is just as human as you.

And be at peace.

Is there anything you want to say to Jesus?

Anything you would like to?

And now Jesus tells you that he can offer you something better…he can offer you something more important.

Be still and watch the picture that Jesus draws in your imagination…of something better that he can give…something better than what you crave.

If you can depend upon the Lord…if you can trust…

Jesus hands you a gift of hope…hope that will keep you strong.

And healthy.

Hope…it is now yours…part of you…forever.

Is there anything you want to say to Jesus/

Anything you want to do?

And suddenly you are alone again…in that place of plainness.

And with your eyes closed…look inside yourself and find a time when you were unsure.

A time when you were fearful that things wouldn’t work out.

That something wouldn’t be right.

And with your eyes closed…paint that scene like in a movie…so that you stand in that situation again.

Frozen in time so you can see it again…and feel it again.

A time when you wanted to be sure that God would make everything perfect, but you had doubts.

You weren’t sure.

The doubts were too strong…you were tempted to give up…to despair.

Feel how strong those fears and doubts can be…pressuring you.

But they won’t crush you.

Because again you can feel the hand of Jesus on your shoulder.

A quiet and gently whisper in your ear.

And he asks you to trust…because if you let him…he can do wondrous things.

And he stands in the mist of your scene…to show you…to give you just a brief glimpse of what could happen…how he would let it develop if he were given the chance.

Then he whispers in your hear how much he loves you and promises that in the end…he can have something wonderful happen.

If you can trust….if you can let him be God…if you have faith.

And then Jesus hands you another gift.

This is a gift of faith to keep you strong.

And to keep you close to God.

Close.

Even in times when you have doubts…or are unsure.

Faith to keep you strong….even when things are beyond your control.

Faith.

Is there anything you would like to say to the Lord?

Anything you would like to do?

Be at peace.

Once more…return to that place of plainness where you are alone…with no distractions.

Alone.

And with your eyes closed look inside yourself and find a feeling of weakness.

That sense of being inadequate and not capable.

That feeling you would never want anyone else to see.

And if you could mask…or hide it...you would cover it with power.

Just feel the need for power so that no one can ever see the weakness in you.

Feel how secure you would be with that incredible power.

But what kinds of power would you need?

Power over others? Power to do without the support and approval of others?

Power to get others’ attention?

Power to control?

Feel that power and what you could do with it.

Paint a scene like in a movie where you can watch yourself with all that power.

How does it feel?

Once again…you can feel the Lord’s hand on your sho9ulder….that familiar whisper in our ear…the quiet and gentle voice of God that can bring your scene to its later stages.

And the Lord show you how power can ultimately hurt and control others so they are no longer fee and able to love.

And the possible darkness of power.

Power.

But Jesus wipes it away and whispers.

Listen to the Lord tell you how the Father glories in your weakness…how admitting your weakness is good and makes you more human.

How you can be more gentle.

How weakness is not threatening to others but invites them to be closer.

And how weakness and love work together to help each other to make our love strong.

To make God strong…and it becomes your strength...love can be your strength.

Loving strength.

And the Lord hands you another gift…a gift of love.

Squeeze that gift of love deeply to yourself so that it becomes part of you.

And you can feel the strength of that divine love from God.

And be at peace.

Know that you are filled with the gifts of God.

His gift of hope…his gift of faith…and his incredible gift of love…and feel the divine strength radiating from within you.

Giving you courage and giving you hope.

Is there anything you would like to say to the Lord?

Anything you would like to do?

Jesus promises you that he will always be with you…he will never leave you…even if you can’t see him…even if you can’t feel him.

Always with you.

And be at peace.

Peace.

Filled with faith, hope, and love from God…slowly return here…still filled with the gifts from God.

When you are ready you may open your eyes and reflect on all that you saw and felt…all that you have just experienced.

And know the gifts God has given to you.

And be at peace.

Peace.

  

Leave a Comment

High School eNewsletter
Receive bi-weekly lessons, links, tips and more in our Email Newsletter

Resources Archive