A Word in Season
Am I Making a Good Lent? Or is Lent Making Me Good?
God is more interested in my being a cheerful giver in this tasks rather than a grumpy one, pining for some green grass on another hill. No, if the Lord really is my Shepherd this Lent, it's time I follow his intentional leading me to this verdant pasture over here, and not to that one over there, paved over with my own good intentions.
Did you ever hear what St. Thérèse of Lisieux recommends?
I prefer the monotony of obscure sacrifice to all ecstasies. To pick up a pin for love can convert a soul.
C'mon now, a pin? I was thinking a little bigger than that—remember those unrealistic Lenten expectations I was talking about?
Ouch. It gives me pause.
I wonder, could I really pick up a pin and do it in a loving way? Or, might I really just pick up the tasks before me this Lent and do them in a more charitable way?
St. Thérèse has more to say to me it seems.
Perfection consists in doing His will, in being what He wills us to be.
The saints always get it right.
So, this aging and childish and stubborn woman must ask herself: Has Lent been more about my own perfectionism, rather than on striving to do the will of the Perfect One who knows me so well? Would I rather change the world around me, than consider changing me?
Have I been faithful to what God has already trusted me to do in this season? Apparently I have missed a few things.
Up to now I had placed my focus on what I thought I should do, rather than what the Lord had already asked of me. I'm no expert on keeping "a good Lent." I'm just a grateful Catholic lamely inching forward with every little bit of grace that I can find.
And so I am picking up the pins of my Lent.
Pat Gohn is a Catholic writer, speaker, and the host of the Among Women Podcast and blog. Her book Blessed, Beautiful and Bodacious: Celebrating the Gift of Catholic Womanhood is published by Ave Maria Press. Subscribe to “A Word in Season” via email or RSS.