Friday, March 3, 2017

At six minutes to midnight

You know how you start off Lent with all sorts of resolutions and ideas and plans, and then you find yourself struggling to keep even your simplest notions going by trying desperately to squeeze them all in before midnight, or at least before you go to bed for the night?

I've done that many times. Many times a resolve to pray the rosary turned into "Oh, no! It's six minutes to midnight and I haven't prayed my Daily Lenten Rosary yet!" And there wasn't any really good reason you didn't get to it--you just sort of forgot.

Or you planned to do some specific spiritual reading, and here you are on Holy Saturday at six minutes to midnight realizing you're never going to finish the New Testament when you just finished reading the Gospel of St. John.

Or you thought you'd do some specific charitable work in terms of almsgiving, and had all sorts of warm fuzzy thoughts about the good you would do. But at six minutes to midnight the day before the food drive or the clothing collection or the bazaar or bake sale, you know you're not going to make a contribution yet again.

The good news about being at the beginning of Lent is that we can still keep trying, and we can see if maybe our goals weren't all that realistic, or we can decide that a daily Divine Mercy Chaplet is more doable, or even a single decade of the rosary each day. And we can keep doing our best to grow in holiness, knowing that God doesn't expect us to achieve perfection in holiness on our own, or all at once, or without His grace multiplying our efforts the way a mother magnifies her child's kindergarten drawings into priceless masterpieces of art.

Of course, being human and all, we can also try to keep a daily writing challenge by typing a blog post with furious speed.

At six minutes to midnight.