When you feel you are failing at Lent

Is it possible that I have already botched Lent?
I was planning to go to a weekday Mass at least once a week. That should be doable.
Yet, would you believe that even on Ash Wednesday when there were so many Masses in so many churches, all I managed was to attend a brief prayer service at work to collect my ashes? It was lovely and I am so grateful to the priest who prayed with us and distributed the ashes.
But I can’t help feeling that somehow I have failed at Lent even though we aren’t even a week into this season.
Don’t even ask me about other sacrifices and how I am doing with that plan to become a better wife and mother.
Maybe I signed on for more than I could achieve this year—at a time when I am trying not to say yes as much. Maybe I picked the wrong thing to give up and the wrong thing to add. Maybe just a few days into Lent, I need to go back and set new goals.
Or maybe I just need to remember that God isn’t sitting there with a stopwatch and a clipboard, marveling at how difficult it is for me to achieve the simple milestones I set for myself.
Lent doesn’t come with a checklist or a report card. Lent is a personal journey. It’s only as good as I make it. And every day I can seek a new way to challenge myself, seek out a new sacrifice, look for a different way to show kindness, and find new opportunities to grow closer to Jesus.
Lent is important. But it’s all right for us to fall short on this journey. Even the Son of God fell while carrying his cross.
With hope and with faith, we can pick up our crosses again tomorrow.

Photo from ECatholic Stock Photo

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.