As we draw nearer to the end of this grace-ladened season of Lent, you and I may be tempted to wonder how we have done. Did I forget my Lenten resolutions one too many times? Did I somehow fail at Lent in the same way I fail at New Years resolutions?
If these words ring true to you, you are in good company. So many people I meet on mission seem to like to know how they stack-up in the spiritual life. But the interesting and even surprising Truth at the center of our lives is constantly bringing us new hope. It is a hope that is not founded upon our abilities and talents and victories, but upon His faithfulness and power to conquer all through the blood of His cross. Although your spiritual journey and my spiritual journey are contingent upon our willingness to follow Him, He is the One who directs our lives.
If we take a moment to expand our vision of Lent 2018 beyond our resolutions, what do you and I find? Perhaps we see mistakes, but probably we see many opportunities to stretch and grow in love than we ever would have been able to plan into our little programs for Lent. So perhaps we find ourselves at a moment in which we can offer to the Lord something that scripture says is most pleasing to God: a humble and contrite heart. That is a heart completely surrendered to His ways. And I am willing to guess that if we look back with these eyes, we will see that our Lenten projects were much more rich and varied than we could have imagined. He is the one who causes the fruit. Let us offer everything to Him.
He doesn’t dwell on our imperfections so long as we are able to surrender them to Him.
God is always saying today is the day of salvation. Will we choose to allow Him to save us even of our need for the knowledge that we’ve succeeded at Lent? I think allowing Him the space might actually be the key to ending Lent well.
Sr. Maria Kim-Ngân Bùi is a Daughter of St. Paul, women religious dedicated to evangelization in and through the media. She has a degree from Boston College and the Augustine Institute. She has offered workshops, presentations, and retreats around the country. She currently serves as the head of marketing and sales at Pauline and one of the guides of Spiritual Accompaniment—the gemstone of the My Sisters online faith community.