An Interesting Lent

What an interesting lent this is turning out to be.  To all those strong and disciplined people out there, I tell you this in the utmost humility:  This year the lenten promise that I made lasted a whole 6 days!  I think that this was the shortest thus far in my life!

My lenten promise, what I decided to do, what I thought was best….hmm… and, as usual, God has other plans!  Now, I’m not blaming God for my lack of will power (that chocolate was just too good to resist!),  but as the days and weeks passed, I realized that there is something to learn here, how can I grow from this experience?

First, it teaches me great humility – I’m not in charge and I am not strong enough to ‘go it alone’.  I trip and fall, over my own feet sometimes, and I’m so grateful for the loving arms that always pick me up and hold me as I begin to walk again.

Second, if I am quiet enough then I can hear that tiny whisper which lets me know what I should really be concentrating on.  And, it is always gift, pure gift, not deprivation, although sometimes it may sting a little, like the bright light on a sunny day.

So, what is it for me this lent? 

I remember the cross….I remember the reason for the cross.  He asks me to give to him my  worries.  Fears that have actually become a part of me.  Worries that I cling to.  He wants them, He wants my healing, he wants my wholeness….

Now, that’s really giving something up for lent!

Why not try this on for lent?

Humility is the ointment for all our wounds”

St. Teresa of Avila

A few days into the lenten season…are we feeling it yet?  Are we craving the chocolate or caffeine that we’ve given up?  Are we staying true to the promise to pray more, read a spiritual book, blog more often?  At the end of the day can we put that check mark of success next to our ‘lenten promise’ ?

Think about this:  If the main reason that I’m doing something ‘extra’ for lent is to prove to myself (or the world) that I am strong, disciplined or a good disciple of Jesus, then, in my opinion, I’ve got it all wrong.  Lent is not about forty days of sacrifice only to emerge proud and victorious, lent is more about the inner work, the transformation, the time in the desert, and often the end result is more anguish than joy. 

St. Teresa said that ‘humility is the ointment for all our wounds’.  What a powerful statement!  Perhaps this lent we should try to develop and practice this most sacred virtue – humility. 

A humble spirit, a humble heart…one only has to gaze upon the cross to see the ultimate humility personified.

The next time I’m feeling the pain from one of my wounds, self-inflicted or otherwise, with God’s help, I will try to ease the hurt with a little humility…..talk about a lenten sacrifice!!!