Every year, I struggle with being a Lenten drop out. And every year, I have to remember: it’s not all about me.
During the 40 days, I am challenged by mundane, simple complaints of life: the weather is horrible, my march madness bracket is messed up because my basketball team lost, why does there have to be so much chocolate around, blah, blah, blah! Do some of these complaints sound familiar? Or, maybe for some of you they don’t and you’ve been able to keep a solid Lenten journey? Regardless, there’s always room for growth, depth… and some Lenten punches of improvement.
Here are some practical suggestions to help you in the remaining time of Lent.
1. Realize Your Sinfulness. Say “I’m sorry” and have a humble heart!
There’s an old country song that says, “it’s hard to be humble when you’re perfect in every way.” No offense to this song or country music, but this is one of the most contradictory statements that I have read. When we recognize that we are no more important than those around us, and when we believe in our “littleness,” the virtue of humility begins to build in our life and thus leads us on our path to sainthood.
2. Try 15 Minutes of Silence Every Day
It’s best if those 15 minutes can be before the Blessed Sacrament, but if not, just find a quiet place to connect with God. You might be thinking 15 minutes is a long time. In all honestly though, try this. We are constantly plugged into technology or relationships with others, that we have little time of silence. And, most often, we don’t like the silence because we aren’t accustomed to it, it’s hard, it can be uncomfortable and even awkward. However, we need to remember that prayer sustains us. A relationship with Christ, sustains us.
3. Run to Jesus in the Sacraments
God makes himself available to us daily in the holy sacrifice of the Mass and weekly in the confessional. What are we doing? St. Maximillian Koble said, “God dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar.” A great connection to the Sacraments is by participating in all the Triduum liturgies at your parish (or as many as you possibly can)! Lent can help us get back on track and grow in our relationship with Christ through these important sacraments.
4. Sacrifice. Give something up (again)!
By giving something up, it allows us to make a tangible sacrifice to God. So, even if you failed with your previous Lenten sacrifice, pick a new, more difficult one and commit to this for the last week of Lent. This simple, yet challenging act, is another reminder to keep Christ first in our lives.
Whether or not you are a Lenten drop out – it doesn’t matter.
What are you going to do now?
What actions will you take to grow in your faith this last week of Lent?
The fact is Lent should challenge us and push us to grow. Let’s finish strong!