Josemaría Escrivá Obras
63

Jesus says "no" to the devil, the prince of darkness. And immediately all is light. "Then the devil left him alone; and thereupon angels came and ministered to him." Jesus has stood up to the test. And it was a real test, because, as St Ambrose comments: "He did not act as God, using his power. If he had, what use would his example have been? No. As a man he uses those aids which he shared with us."

The devil, with twisted intention, quoted the old testament: God will send his angels to protect the just man wherever he goes. But Jesus refuses to tempt his Father; he restores true meaning to this passage from the Bible. And, as a reward for his fidelity, when the time comes, ministers of God the Father appear and wait upon him.

It's worth thinking about the method Satan uses with our Lord Jesus Christ: he argues with texts from the sacred books, twisting and distorting their meaning in a blasphemous way. Jesus doesn't let himself be deceived: the Word made flesh knows well the divine word, written for the salvation of men — not their confusion and downfall. So, we can conclude that anyone who is united to Jesus Christ through Love will never be deceived by manipulation of the holy Scripture, for he knows that it is typical of the devil to try to confuse the christian conscience, juggling with the very words of eternal wisdom, trying to turn light into darkness.

Let us look for a moment at this appearance of angels in Jesus' life, for it will help us to better understand their role — their angelic mission — in all human life. Christian tradition describes the guardian angels as powerful friends, placed by God alongside each one of us, to accompany us on our way. And that is why he invites us to make friends with them and get them to help us.

In suggesting that we meditate on these passages of the life of Christ, the Church reminds us that during Lent, when we recognize our sins, our wretchedness and our need for purification, there is also room for joy. Lent is a time for both bravery and joy; we have to fill ourselves with courage, for the grace of God will not fail us. God will be at our side and will send his angels to be our travelling companions, our prudent advisers along the way, our cooperators in all that we take on. The angels "will hold you up with their hands lest you should chance to trip on a stone," as the psalm says.

We must learn to speak to the angels. Turn to them now, tell your guardian angel that these spiritual waters of Lent will not flow off your soul but will go deep, because you are sorry. Ask them to take up to the Lord your good will, which, by the grace of God, has grown out of your wretchedness like a lily grown on a dunghill. Holy angels, our guardians: "defend us in battle so that we do not perish at the final judgment."

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