Have you messed up Lent this year? Ever make a New Year’s resolution and not keep it? Ever tell a teacher you would hand in something at a certain time and not do it? How about telling a friend you were going to meet them at some event and in the end decided to not attend without telling them? Did you start out this Lent making a resolution that you would sacrifice something and have already spoiled the sacrifice by not doing it?
Let’s face it: if were completely authentic with these questions, most of us would say yes, we did some of those at one point or another. The problem with our failing in these areas is that we often feel embarrassed and can become disengaged with others and even begin feeling down about ourselves.
Here’s one thing guaranteed to prevent you from growing during Lent – spiritual apathy. What is spiritual apathy? It’s a lack of spiritual enthusiasm or emotional fulfillment. To put it simply – boredom, laziness, or just plain giving up has begun to set in. If we allow apathy to creep into our spiritual life and give up, we have little chance of regaining Lent.
So how can you salvage your Lent? Here are 3 antidotes to Spiritual Apathy:
- The Sacraments – Mass and Reconciliation! Want to get back on track this lent? Head to your local parish and ask the priest if he will hear your confession. Get up early and go to a daily Mass. During Mass offer up whatever apathy may have crept in and lay it at the foot of the Altar and ask for a new beginning of Lent in your heart.
- Spiritual Two-A-Days – First, get up every morning and read the scriptures of the day. You can find them at http://www.usccb.org/nab/today.shtml Read them twice – once to get an idea of what is being said and then read it a second time slower and allow the Scriptures to speak to you in an area that you need help in. Try to reflect on this throughout your day. Second – End every day by praying a rosary. Ask Mary to intercede to her Son for you and any other intentions. Mary only has the ability to draw you closer to her Son!
- Get Up and Restart Your Sacrifice - Don’t just sit there and wallow in your failure – set out on the path again and begin again. After a couple of days, you may not even remember dropping out. No better way to conquer spiritual apathy, than getting back up and doing something.
Remember, even if you have messed up Lent this year, it doesn’t change the fact that there is nothing that you can do to make God love you less. He only wants to spend more time with you – that is really at the heart of what Lent is about.