Saturday, February 16, 2008

Lenten Checkpoint

From Deacon Greg's homily for the second Sunday of Lent:
How is your Lent going?

Right about now is when the newness and fervor start to wear off. We've left the ashes in the bathroom sink – or maybe on the pillow. The things we gave up – chocolate, TV, deserts – are starting to look better and better. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Maybe you're dreaming about Ben and Jerry. Maybe you've even fallen off the wagon and splurged on Chubby Hubby or Cherry Garcia and felt the morning-after guilt.

A lot of us find ourselves in that situation during Lent – suddenly doing something out of habit that we had sworn to give up. Fundamentalists might call it backsliding. But I think it's part of what makes us human -- what makes our Lenten journey so challenging – and so vital.

And it is, first and foremost, a journey.
[H/t the Anchoress, who has some great insights of her own.]

1 comment:

angelmeg said...

I went to my regular visit with my Spiritual Director a week after Ash Wednesday and I had already had to ammend my lenten penance because I was unable to keep the one I had tried to impose on myself.

I had tried to give up being judgmental only to find it frustratingly impossible after three days. I changed it to being aware of my judgmental thoughts and praying immediately for forgiveness in that moment and looking for the root of those exact thoughts. I found I was praying quite a lot.

My director praised that I had taken what might have caused me despair and turned it into growth, and he said the same thing Lent is a journey.

This week I am noticing that I am not praying for forgiveness nearly as often, so in approaching the flaw from a different direction I am working at rooting it out all the same.

God is so sneaky, and good all the time.