Whew! I made it through Lent. The Fridays without hamburgers and tacos. (In my world, fish tacos don’t count.) The two days of fasting (such a piddly number!) where I had to skip all those in-between meal snacks.
Did you go to Holy Thursday Mass and Good Friday services? Or did you gratefully grasp at the fact that they aren’t mandatory? I signed up to serve the Good Friday service so I wouldn’t talk myself out of going.
Lenten practices include sacrifice. Did you give something up? Did you succeed? I kept trying to decide what I should do without, changed course several times, and wound up being unsuccessful at any of it.
Did you proudly enter the Triduum feeling prepared for the most important feast of the Church calendar? Or, like me, did you slink in on your knees filled with regret and embarrassment, certain that you could have done more?
On Easter morning, I tend to let out a sigh of relief and, after gobbling up my chocolate bunny, go back to my old routine. No extra prayers at the end of the day. No additional weekday Masses. No doing without sweets or swearing or whatever I finally gave up. Take note: This isn’t the time to quit!
Lent is a period of transformation, certainly, but God doesn’t expect us to be transformed in 40 days. (Technically, 46 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter, but since Lent ends with Holy Thursday, that would be minus 3, carry the two, square it and multiply by…Oh, heck. Who’s counting?) The point is, our transformation doesn’t—or shouldn’t—stop at Easter.
“Therefore you are to Be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48
I have a long way to go before perfect, and I’m not going to get there by only making use of the Lenten season. How about you?
Let’s agree to keep going with the spirit of Lent. Make sacrifices. Put in extra prayer time. Consider Lent the warm-up for a race that’s going to last your entire earthly life and keep going. The hubby and I plan to continue with meatless Fridays, and we’re both going to put in extra Bible time. How about you? Is there a Lenten practice that you will continue with throughout the year?
Of course, that means when Lent rolls around again next year, I’ll have to put out more effort to make sacrifices that mean something. Hopefully, after eleven months of training, my spiritual muscles will be in the proper shape to do so.