So Lent is now about halfway through and just as with other challenges and promises we make to ourselves, they are tough to keep! It definitely isn’t easy to keep a Lenten promise and to not feel tempted or discouraged. It’s going to be hard. If you gave up chocolate for Lent and your friends are eating a delicious chocolate bar in front of you at lunch, it requires strength and graces to avoid the temptation to ask for a piece to eat.
I’m going to outline 3 points that will hopefully motivate you to continue practicing your Lenten challenges and to help you keep your Lenten promises!
1. Lenten promises build VIRTUE!
During the 40 days, we commit ourselves to some sort of fasting, to some acts of almsgiving and to making more time for prayer. All these aspects require the grace of God and His strength to persevere. There is no way we could do it without Him! The best part of all is that by practicing these things, we build more virtue and graces. As children of God, we are ultimately called to become the best versions of ourselves and through prayer, fasting and almsgiving we are able to become more ourselves. Although it’s not very easy, we recognize the tremendous amount of suffering that Jesus experiences in the desert and we respond by uniting ourselves to Him through our own prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Learning how to say no to something little like a piece of chocolate, is very important in order to learn how to say no to bigger situations in our lives. If we don’t learn how to say no, our yes won’t mean anything.
2.VIRTUE means HOLINESS and HOLINESS means HEAVEN!
As we strive to live out our Lent in a way that prepares us for Easter, building up virtue by learning how to keep our promises will also help us grow in holiness! Since we are all called to Sainthood, Lent is the perfect time to work harder at reaching our end goal: Heaven! Just imagine, the moment when Jesus calls you to Heaven. You are standing at the gates of Heaven, Jesus sees you and He opens the gates to welcome you in. As He takes your hand and walks you in, the angels and the saints are all gathered around singing, and celebrating because you made it! You’ve reached Heaven! Your life’s destination! YOU DID IT! And guess what, your Lenten prayer, fasting and almsgiving helped you get there! YOU ARE NOW A SAINT! This is a moment we should all strive for! Don’t you want that? I mean eternal life and love forever! I hope that motivates you. If Heaven doesn’t, I don’t know what could.
3. Something BEAUTIFUL awaits!
Throughout this “desert” time it may be easy to feel sad and want to give up. However, there is hope, there is JOY! Easter Sunday awaits when Jesus rises from the dead! This is new life and a wonderful promise that is fulfilled. Easter is the greatest feast in the Church. During this Lenten season, don’t forget that though there is suffering, there is great joy afterwards. The same goes with our fasting, prayer and almsgiving - there is so much goodness, truth and beauty to come out of it! Always remember that Jesus takes our brokenness and turns it into something beautiful! Unite your brokenness to Him and just watch how He will bless you! He loves you more than you could ever imagine and He wants to do so many amazing things in your life!
Don’t forget that all of heaven is cheering you on while you journey here on earth. Never give up, you are MADE 4 MORE! Resurrection day is closer than you think!