How’s Your Lent Going?

As I sent my daughter back to begin her third trimester of college yesterday morning, I told her I’d see her two weekend after Easter (when I have a visit planned to see her at school). My husband observed that was only four weeks away, which brought the shocking realization that a week from tomorrow is the beginning of Holy Week.

Wait! Didn’t Lent just start? Um…no…it is almost over.

I don’t know about you, but I began Lent filled with good intentions about what I’d give up, how often I’d fast, etc. Resolutions of more frequent daily Mass attendance. Going to Stations every Friday night. Etc., etc. and so forth.

I didn’t quite succeed as well as I would have liked. The question is: how will I deal with that realization?

There are two possible responses. One is to sit here and beat myself up about my shortcomings, to give myself a good talking to about all of the things I should have done and didn’t, to fume and feel guilty. The other is to sit with God, acknowledge and express my sorrow for the fact that I haven’t done as much as much as I could and ask for the grace to go through the rest of Lent with greater mindfulness. These are the same two possible responses to every instance of sin and shortcoming in our lives.

The former reaction turns us inward and is completely non-productive. The latter reaction, however, takes us out of ourselves and opens some space for God, opens us to the grace of God.

I think I’ll opt for the latter.

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