[Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart.
for I am gracious and merciful.]
I’m not sure about you, but most of my “Lents” have similar pattern. I start out strong and on fire and usually end on fire. However the middle is generally a roller coaster. Once I start there’s a period of steady keeping of my chosen penances. Unfortunately my pride slips in and I think, “This ain’t so bad”. Inevitably this gives way to lots of struggles in keeping my Lenten promises. This can then lead to a feeling of failure. At which point, giving up my penances all together seems like a pretty good idea.
In the Gospel verse during today’s Mass, the prophet Joel reminds us that we can still “return” to the Lord. Regardless of how great our Lent has gone so far, we can recommit today. If pride has slipped into our Lenten journey, today we can begin to uproot it. If we’ struggling to keep our penances, today we look toward the Lord and His grace. If we are thinking of giving up our penances all together or already have, today can be our new beginning.
“God has not called me to be successful. He has called me to be faithful.” — St. Mother Teresa
We’d all love both, to be successful and faithful. However if we were completely successful right now with our Lenten penances, would we remain faithful to God? By this I mean, would we recognize that we need Him or that our penances are for love of Him?
How is your Lent going? Gleam encouragement today from the prophet Joel.
•Is your Lent going smoothly? Keep trucking.
.•Is your Lent a struggle? Take courage.
•Is your Lent feeling like an epic fail? Start again today.