What’s the Point? Discovering the Purpose of Lent

Purpose of Lent

We are halfway through the Lenten season.  That’s three Friday fish dinners down and four to go.  That’s three Mass services without singing the Allelujah….and almost twenty days of trying very hard not to complain.

It’s not going so well.

Basically, I am failing at Lent.  Again.

Let me summarize my Lenten experiences for you.  First Lent observed, I tried to minimize Facebook.  I realized how utterly addicted I am/was to social media.  It was pathetic, really.  The second Lent, I gave up sugar and not caring what I ate.  I basically obsessed over every opportunity to consume doughnuts for the next 40 days.  This year, I quietly asked God what he wanted me to give up this year.  (I’m trying to avoid giving up chocolate.)  He just answered, “Complaining.”  So, I am trying.  And basically I’m realizing how much negative speech comes out of my mouth.  I complain at school.  I complain at home.  Pretty much, it’s my default setting.  Unfortunately, I realize this after it’s come out….hence, the realization that I’m failing at Lent.

Or am I?  Is Lent about perfection or is about realizing again the utter need that I have for God?  Is it about realizing that I cannot make this journey on my own – that on my own power, I will always fail?  And if it the latter, then I believe that it is also a season for a renewed remembrance of God’s grace and life within us.  A life so alive that it overcame death itself – and that life is at work in me if I allow it to be.

So, tomorrow I start again.  I ask Christ to fill me with His grace and life in overcoming these words of death.  I ask you, my brothers and sisters, together with all the angels and saints to pray for me.  And I press on to the prize which is our high calling: holiness.

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