Similar to New Year's resolutions, Lenten resolutions have a tendency to be set intentionally and then lack the purposeful follow through needed to actually keep them. We have great aspirations for ourselves after deep thought that often lack follow through. With that in mind, I want to share one my Lenten additions with you to help you check in with how you are doing thus far!
Ignatian spirituality includes a daily examen that reflects on the past day (or in this case past few weeks) with great intention and the help of the Holy Spirit. Something I really love about the examen is that it does not just focus on the negative of our day, but also encourages us to reflect on and relish the good in each day. Just follow these 5 R's:
Don't give into the temptation to just give up because Lent hasn't gone the way you intended so far. Make a prayer of contrition and penance and then firmly resolve to do better each and every day.
You got this friend, wherever you are in your journey.
I can hardly believe it but friends, Lent begins a week from today! Next Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting and abstinence. Oftentimes, Lent sneaks up on me and suddenly it is Ash Wednesday and I haven't thought deeply about what I plan to give up or add to my life to help myself better prepare for Jesus's glorious Resurrection on Easter Sunday! But we have a week to prepare and plan for an intentional Lenten experience that will truly prep our souls to celebrate the Easter season joyfully and fully aware of what Easter truly means for us as Catholics.
Take Time to Reflect
Before next Wednesday, take time to reflect on where you are at in your spiritual journey.
After you've reflected and identified a few patterns of sin or an area that you've grown stagnant and lukewarm, its time to communicate your intentions with those around you. Its very easy to notice what's wrong, but it is another thing entirely to make serious, intentional changes in your life. Turn to your spouse, your best friend, your spiritual counselor, or accountability partner to help you stay committed throughout the upcoming forty days. They may also have great advice for you to help you make the changes you're wanting to make! People who know and love you well may have deep thoughts and advice that can help you decide what your next steps should be.
After prayer and intentional communication with those who love you and want the best for you, God and others, I want to encourage you to plan accordingly.
Lent's just around the corner sister, don't let it sneak up on you and don't let a lack of preparation be an excuse for you to not fully participate!
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