Father Rosica, Vatican spokesman and the man behind the Salt and Light website from Canada, yesterday had his lawyers send a threatening letter to the author of Vox Cantoris blog, demanding the removal of posts where the unenlightened statements and writings were exposed for their distortions of the Truth and the Catholic Faith. Vox Cantoris has placed the spotlight on these because of their ability to lead Catholics down a path that could cause the loss of their salvation, which seems to not concern Father Rosica. What follows below is what Father Rosica has written on Salt and Light’s website wherein he discusses what he feels the Gospels actually mean regarding the temptation of Jesus in the desert. Read on its own, I could almost hear the softly strumming guitars in the background. I have made my own comments in red, which are based upon what the Gospels of Mark, Luke and Matthew actually say. Father Rosica does not present the real Jesus, but a distorted picture of a hallucinating, doubtful and confused Jesus, which is directly contradictory of the Gospels. Strap in!
But first, here is the Gospel of Mark passage that is for this Sunday:
And immediately the Spirit drove him out into the desert.  And he was in the desert forty days and forty nights, and was tempted by Satan; and he was with beasts, and the angels ministered to him.  And after that John was delivered up, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,  And saying: The time is accomplished, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, and believe the gospel.
February 16, 2015 by Leave a Comment
First Sunday of Lent, Year B – February 22, 2015
Does anyone really look forward to Lent? What is it about Lent that excites us? What aspects of the Lenten journey test us? The Scriptural readings for this season are carefully chosen so as to replay salvation history before our very eyes.
Let us begin with Jesus in the desert — the Gospel for the first Sunday of Lent. The desert sun and the pangs of hunger and thirst conjured up the demon for him. [The demon is conjured up for Jesus by the desert sun and pangs of hunger and thirst, he writes. So the devil is not real, just a product of hallucinations caused by the hot sun baking his head and from hunger and thirst. In other words, the devil and all that transpires afterwards is a mirage, not real, only a figment of the imagination of Jesus.] Mark presents Jesus wrestling with the power of Satan, alone and silent in the desert wastes. Mark’s version of the temptations of Jesus does not mention three temptations, nor does it say that Jesus fasted. Mark’s whole focus is on presenting the temptations of Jesus as part of the great struggle between good and evil, between God and Satan.
Jesus’ desert experience raises important questions for us. What are some of the “desert” experiences I have experienced in my life? What desert experience am I living through right now? When and how do I find moments of contemplation in the midst of a busy life? How have I lived in the midst of my own deserts? Have I been courageous and persistent in fighting with the demons? How have I resisted transforming my own deserts into places of abundant life?
In Matthew and Luke there is an ongoing conversation, as the prince of evil attempts to turn Jesus aside from the faith and integrity at the heart of his messianic mission. [But that conversation must have been another hallucination conjured up by the desert sun and pangs of hunger and thirst, right? So, the conversation didn’t actually happen between Jesus and the devil. So, the temptations we face come only from ourselves, our own hallucinations, too?] But if Israel had failed in the desert, Jesus would not. His bond with his Father was too strong for even the demons of the desert to break. [He moves from the evil one to a group of demons. Is this what the Gospel actually says? No, the Gospels actually say that this is Satan.]
In the first temptation in the desert, Jesus responds to the evil one, [Now we’re back to the evil one, not the demons of the previous sentence. That can happen if this is only a figment of your warped imagination, conjured up by the desert sun and pangs of hunger and thirst] not by denying human dependence on sustenance (food), but rather by putting human life and the human journey in perspective. Those who follow Jesus cannot become dependent on the things of this world. When we are so dependent on material things, and not on God, we give in to temptation and sin. [But, if temptation and sin are conjured up by hallucination, then can’t they be conjured away by our own power to unhallucinate them?]
God’s in charge
The second temptation deals with the adoration of the devil rather than God. Jesus once again reminds the evil one that God is in control. [None of this makes sense if the whole scene is based upon the hallucination of Jesus. Jesus is having an imaginary conversation, also conjured up by the desert sun and pangs of hunger and thirst.] This is important for us to hear and believe, especially when our own temptations seem to overpower us, when everything around us might indicate failure, shadows, darkness and evil. [But where then do “our own” temptations come from? Again, it’s only in our imagination. The devil is not real, but only conjured up by the desert sun baking our brain, and pangs of hunger and thirst creating the mirage that can seem real but aren’t.] It is God who is ultimately in charge of our destiny. [Maybe not, if we keep out of the sun and eat and drink plenty?]
In the third temptation, the devil asks for a revelation or manifestation of God’s love in favor of Jesus. Jesus answers the evil one by saying that he doesn’t have to prove to anyone that God loves him. [That is not what He said. He told the devil that “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”]
Temptation is everything that makes us small, ugly, and mean. Temptation uses the trickiest moves that the evil one can think up. The more the devil has control of us, the less we want to acknowledge that he is fighting for every millimeter of this earth. Jesus didn’t let him get away with that. At the very beginning of his campaign for this world and for each one of us, Jesus openly confronted the enemy. He began his fight using the power of Scripture during a night of doubt, confusion and temptation. [This is not the Gospels’ take on what happened, but the opposite. Jesus was driven by the Spirit after God reveals Him as the Son. None of the Gospels indicate in the least that Jesus was doubtful or confused, and the devil tempted Him but He quickly rebutted strongly every temptation.] We must never forget Jesus’ example, so that we won’t be seduced by the devil’s deception. [Yet, Father does not give us the true example of Jesus. Instead he would have a false example of Jesus, the confused, doubtful, hallucinating Jesus, which is completely the opposite of what the Gospels reveal, the real Jesus, Who is driven into the desert by the Spirit right after God reveals Him as His Son “with whom I am well pleased”, Who quickly, forcefully and authoritatively rebukes the devil, who was not a figment of His hallucinating mind, a mirage “conjured up by the desert sun and pangs of hunger and thirst”, and Who was ministered to during the time in the desert by angels.]
From Jesus we learn that God is present and sustaining us in the midst of test, temptation and even sinfulness. We realize that we must have some spiritual space in our lives where we can strip away the false things that cling to us and breathe new life into our dreams and begin again. [No, from Jesus in the actual Gospels we learn that we are to heed Scripture, that we must rely on every Word of God to live, that we must adore and love God alone and that we must not tempt the Lord our God.] We come to believe that God can take the parched surface of our hope and make it bloom. These are the lessons of the desert. That is why we need – even in the activity of our daily lives and work, moments of prayer, of stillness, of listening to the voice of God. [So, why do we not get the true lesson from this and instead get this emotional, saccharine version of Jesus? Why are we given from the start that these happenings are the result of the desert sun and pangs of hunger and thirst causing Jesus to hallucinate everything that happens subsequently?]
We meet God in the midst of our deserts of sinfulness, selfishness, jealousy, efficiency, isolation, cynicism and despair. [If anything, these Gospel passages reveal that we meet the devil, who is real, in the deserts of sinfulness, selfishness, jealousy, cynicism and despair. How “efficiency” and “isolation” fit here is confusing. What is a desert of efficiency and isolation? Words thrown in without an explanation are just words with no real meaning and do not offer anything.] And in the midst of the desert we hear what God will do if we open our hearts to him and allow him to make our own deserts bloom. The ways of the desert were deep within the heart of Jesus, and it must be the same for all who would follow him. [These last two sentences are just emotional, sentimental drivel. “Feelings, nothing more than feelings . . .”]
Yes, believe the Gospel, not this warped take on it.