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Persevering through Lent

It happens to all of us. Every Lent, we come up with a list of things we will eat less or do more. We get off to a good start, then it happens. We see that chocolate donut in the cafeteria, we start to think we deserve it because we’ve been working so hard and praying more, and we give in. And then we feel guilty.

Rather than being moments of discouragement, however, they can be helpful reminders of our weakness. I can’t even pass up a donut. If I am honest with myself, I am forced to face the truth of my broken humanity, my sinfulness and my need for a redeemer, which is what Lent is really about — not that I am recommending foregoing all your Lenten penances for this “aha moment.”

We don’t deserve it, but God loves us so much. He made us in his image and gave us the identity of his children. He lovingly and continuously holds us in existence even as we fall, and he reaches out to bring us back.

Thus Lent becomes a season of striving to place God as the priority of our lives, and be more aware of all he has done for us, especially sending his son to die for our sake. We work to strip ourselves of other attachments to imitate Christ, and prepare to accompany him in his passion, death and resurrection.

Ian Radel, from St. Patrick Parish in Fredericksburg, is in his first year of theology at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Pa.

 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019