Monday, April 5, 2010

Finishing Strong

I had a tough time this Lent.

I'm disappointed in myself because I love Lent. It's what reminds me why I love being Catholic so much. A time to reflect, to be forgiven, to renew. Masses during lent are quiet and leave plenty of space to look within your soul. What do you want change? What do you like? What should you do more of? What do you dislike? Are there indulgences that are blocking your path to fullness?

Many times during the 40 days of Lent our priest would mention the common mistake of starting out Lent with too many promises. Giving up too much or vowing too much. It's similar to starting out a race too fast only to get tired and weary halfway through and end up finishing slow.

Certainly it's noble to try to take on so much suffering during Lent but we should all be reminded that it's not a contest.

I think I'm disappointed in myself not for starting out the race too fast, but for not starting the race at all. I feel like I never fully recognized Lent this year.

Like so many of us, I have a ton of distractions in my life and this year I let them get the better of me.

On Holy Thursday, the mass of our Lord's supper, I got a babysitter for the kids. Brian and I went to church alone. I may have still been sitting at the starting line, but I was going to give it my all and finish strong anyway.

It was the best Lenten gift I could give myself. Together we sat, hand-in-hand, and listened to every single reading. We heard every single sentence of the gospel and every single word of the homily. I sang every word of every song and, for the first time in a while, I knelt for the entire consecration. For a mom of two young children it certainly is a treat to be able to do this.

The mass ended with moving the Blessed Sacrament to the altar of repose. The lights were dimmed and the congregation left in silence. Brian and I sat in the church in adoration for some time. Although my offering was small the beauty of God is that He doesn't compare us.

On Easter morning we all woke up early. Brian and William donned ties. Lucy and I were in pure white, she in a beautiful dress. He had risen, after all, and it was time to celebrate.

Following mass we took our first family photo since Christmas. I downloaded those pictures this morning and they make me smile from ear to ear. Those pictures make me realize He knows where I am on my journey better than I do. He loves me no matter what. And Lent or not, it's never too late to try to do better.


  1. I was lamenting my lack of participation this Lent. For the first time in 7 years I didn't make any Holy Week services and didn't attend the Easter Vigil. Granted, I had a two week old and was still recovering but I felt like something was missing. Brett and I did get to go to mass alone on Easter Sunday morning and that was really special.

  2. Great insight Jenny. I was feeling the same way--You have a great way with words!

  3. Look at William in his green tie and glasses! Such a handsome little guy.

    Happy belated Easter to you + your family!


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