What if I’m at the midpoint of Lent and not much is going on?
I began Lent with the best of intentions, but I am not sure what I’m doing or what I want to be doing for Lent? Can my Lent be rescued? Can a six-week journey be completed in the remaining three weeks?
The first step to beginning is already begun if I have the desire to do something real for Lent. What we need is a real desire – a real sense of expectation that God has something for me to hear, to learn, to change, and I want to be ready to listen.
There are things that get in our way of starting right now but we have to remember that God doesn’t need much of an opening to begin to free us and show us His transforming love. It’s not too late to start again.
Once we can say we want to make something of these precious days remaining in Lent, then we can be more specific about what we want.
For some of us, it is obvious. There is a big, glaring self-defeating pattern staring us in the face. Most of the time, however, it takes a little reflection, a bit of honest examination of conscience to really see what is getting in the way of being closer to Jesus
After some reflection I might admit there is a streak of stubbornness or impatience or harshness that keeps putting me at odds with people. Perhaps there is an old wound or a fresh experience of hurt or loss that has turned into a festering anger that robs me of simple joys and sorrow. I might somehow know that I am compensating for some emptiness or loneliness or sadness or insecurity by trying to fill in what is missing with temporary satisfaction by over eating, drinking too much, or escaping in sexual fantasy or pornography.
Maybe a homily or something I read recently made me realize that I really have not paid attention to the needs of the poor. After some reflection I may realize that I’m not very grateful for what has been given to me, and therefore, I’m just not very happy, generous or free.
It’s not too late in Lent to turn to the Lord with some real, concrete desires. Ask Him how to move forward in Lent.
While I take a shower or get ready each morning, I can take a moment to pray one of those desires:
PRAYER: Lord having reflected on my life at this point in Lent it feels so good to be honest with myself before you. Let me know your presence today. Help me face the challenges that will be there today. Give me some more freedom to make different choices and to stop escaping in the old ways. Help me to love as you have loved me. Amen.
Imagine all the different prayers like that – one minute long – that could shape our day.
Let’s give Lent a new start in the days ahead. God is offering us more than we can ask or imagine.