Some of us are already five miles down the "broke my Lenten resolution...again" train tracks. And those train tracks can lead us quickly to discouragement which, as St. Therese wrote in this prayer, is "but a form of pride."
Ouch, Therese...always telling me what I need to hear when I don't want to hear it.
I'm so easily discouraged; I forget to trust in the mercy of Our Lord, I forget that Lent isn't about giving up this indulgence or that time-waster, but about growing closer to Christ.
That's the yard-stick by which I must measure my Lenten "progress"...not that I need to measure it, because again, that's an easy way to fall into the sin of pride...but as a way to examine my conscience, my heart, to ask the Lord: "Have I grown closer to You in the past five weeks? Or am I still living the same life I was at the beginning of Lent...not making time for prayer, frittering my time away in mindless distractions, worrying, worrying, worrying my life away?"
It's so easy to let other things take first place. Job-hunting, worrying about job-hunting, finances, worrying about finances; trying to find the ooomph to put on dress clothes, go to this restaurant or that retail store, and ask confidently and without fear: "Are you hiring and can I fill out an application?"
And all that drains me and at the end of another day of online applications and occasionally filling out a paper application, where do I fit God in?
It's easy to go to (sometimes) daily Mass, to make a weekly Holy Hour...and still to live the rest of the life without turning my mind to Him. Even in this Lenten time.
One of the priests at my parish gave a sermon to the parish school Mass in which he said:
So you've broken your Lenten resolutions? With Jesus Christ, we can always begin again, because He is merciful and His Love endures forever. Begin again today so we can get ready for Easter. Try to get closer to Christ within these next ten days.I needed to hear that as much as--if not more than--those school kids did.
There are six days left until the Triduum--the holiest days of the Church Year. And then Easter. Six days to try to put Him first in my life.
Dear Jesus, please have mercy on me and save me! (Prayer from a very dear friend of mine.)