The prophet Joel hit me hard in the reading for Morning Prayer today: "Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord your God."
Over the years, how many of my attempts at Lenten observances have been a rending of garments, that is to say externals, that did not serve to rend my heart! Even when I succeeded in observing Lent according to the practices woven together in my pious imaginings--and perhaps especially when I did--sometimes these things did not serve to further break my heart at either the suffering of the world or my own sins!
The presence of sin is not what distinguishes us from the saints, despite the worldly imagination that opposes 'sinner' and 'saint.' The difference is that the saints were brokenhearted at their sins in a way that we have not yet consented to.