I have wasted plenty of Lenten journeys in the past. I've always taken them seriously. (At least as an adult) I've always tried to make them rigorous but still I've wasted them. I focused on Quantity and not quality. I saw lent like a scoreboard. The more austere the higher my score. All the while I was after the score more than the real goal. Lent should be a time when we take up the Church's call to grow closer to Christ and not a scoreboard of austerities and works. How do we keep the focus? Here are a few tips.
1. Start with Prayer: Choose wisely what you will focus on this Lent but make sure prayer is one of those things. If our main goal is to improve or start our prayer life we can't help but get closer to the Lord over the next 40 days.
2. When giving up focus on sin: What is the biggest thing keeping you from the Lord? Give up something that will help you conquer that sin. Do not make the mistake of giving something up just because it is hard. Christian empty only with the thought that its a temporary emptiness. We get rid of more in order to have more of Christ.
3. In works of Charity start at home: Try not to step over the leper in your own home to help the leper outside. There is nothing wrong with going out and doing works of charity but if we are being uncharitable to those we live and work with we get nowhere.
These 40 days can change you.
These 40 days can make you a saint.
Dave VanVickle is a Catholic speaker and writer focusing on the Universal Call to Holiness and Authentic Catholic Spirituality. He is currently employed as the Director of Evangelization for the parishes of the Catholic Community of Wexford, PA.