One of the kids in my First Communion Class asked me how many more days are left in Lent. When I answered that we are just about halfway through, there was a very loud, disappointed chorus of aawwwws from most of the class.
Right about now, are you saying “aawwww” as well? How’s Lent going for you? At the midpoint, it’s time to take our spiritual vital signs. Have you been keeping up with your promises of fasting, praying and almsgiving?
If you’re like me, you’re having moments of frustration, especially with fasting. When I’m feeling particularly stressed, and even when I’m not, I eat dark chocolate. I love dark chocolate; it’s creamy, not too sweet and full of antioxidants and other good stuff proven to help calm frazzled nerves. The trouble is, I gave it up for Lent (against the advice of my family). In previous years, I have tried to fast from dark chocolate but negative outcomes, to use a sanitized medical phrase, prompted my husband and children to beg me to just eat it for the sake of family harmony. This year, I attempted it again and to date, I’ve been doing well, please God. There was an incident with some rocky road fudge and a couple of near misses but hey! I’m not perfect.
If the same old routine isn’t working, change it. This year, I resolved to approach Lenten sacrifice differently with prayer as my central discipline and everything else stemming from it. To many people that may seem obvious, but it’s taken me a bit longer to get to this point. I haven’t added more prayer in my day, other than to attend Stations of the Cross and Friday evening Mass with my family, but my attitude is different. I am more focused and deliberate with the resolution that quiet, relatively undistracted prayer is the most important part of my day no matter how busy I am.