We’re just about to the end of Lent. (It ends tomorrow evening). So how did you do? Have you successfully given up something for the entire 40 days? Have you done something extra every day? Or are you a fallible human being?
Personally, I’ve been more successful in the “giving up” than in the “doing extra”. The things I decided to give up for Lent are mostly still gone. But I’ve fallen short, sometimes very short in the things I thought I would be able to add. This blog is a perfect example. My plan was to post something each day. I started pretty well, but as you can see, my last post was March 24. EPIC LENT FAIL! Not only was it an epic fail, it was a very public fail.
Other things, like my plan to focus more on my prayer life, may be failures, but at least no one knows but me (and God).
The 12 Step programs have a slogan, “progress, not perfection”. Isn’t that what being a Catholic is all about. We may strive for perfection, but we know that progress is the most we can hope for. The writer Matthew Kelly prays that God will make him the best version of himself. It’s a great prayer. If we ask God to make us better, He will. If we ask Him to make us perfect, we’re going to be disappointed.
Thomas Merton wrote “I believe the desire to please you does in fact please you.” (Thoughts in Solitude). Progress, not perfection.
I don’t think we can rate ourselves when it comes to Lent. We’re all humans. All God wants from us is our best. Our best isn’t the same as someone else’s best. If we’ve done all we can then He can’t ask for anything more. If you’re a better version of yourself than you were on Ash Wednesday, you’ve had a successful Lent.
I hope you’ve had a great Lent and that you’ll have a great Easter.