March 7, 2008

Act Now

Well, as usual, I've hardly begun to live up to the Lenten practices I meant to do.

This is always the time during Lent when I feel like its the last chance to actually live up to the observances I decided upon. During the first couple of weeks I think, well, I can still start this Lent well. But now it's too late for that.

But now, with just 14* days of Lent left, it's always around now that I think it's my last chance to have a good Lent.

I used to get much more disappointed in myself and worked up about this sort of thing. But now I understand better what Paul was talking about when he recommends to us that our faults, shortcomings, and failures are our only occasion for boasting, that whatever good there is about us might be only the power of God shining through.

It reminds me of my friend who complained when a priest began the penitential rite by inviting the assembly to call to mind their "faults and failures." After Mass he told the priest that he wanted not to confess but to boast of his faults and failures (as Paul commands), but that he had actually come to Mass more for forgiveness of sins.

*I know that one official answer is that Lent ends on Holy Thursday. But it only adds up to the forty days of ancient tradition if you count right up to Holy Saturday.


ben in denver said...

It seems that the last 2 Lents, God has decided my penances for me. The last 2 weeks have been a special trial. I have thus decided that I will not worry so much about living up to what I think I should be doing with Lent. I will instead work on being more open to what God brings me in Lent.

Charles of New Haven said...

Wise choice, brother. To be attentive and willing in our natural occurring ascesis is our first duty.