C. S. Lewis once wrote, “If you and I want to evade some dangerous duty, the best plan is to find one or two other cowards and do our shirking in company.” True enough. But the opposite is also true. If you and I have some difficult business to be about, the best plan is to find one or two other thusly burdened persons and do the task together. Such is the Lenten season upon which we embark today.
As you walk about and see a smudge mark on the forehead of your fellow Catholics, you know here is a person abstaining and fasting today also – who may be trying to pray more – who is cutting something they like out of their lives in sacrifice – is almsgiving – going through caffeine withdrawal – getting up early to exercise the temple of the Holy Spirit – who is improving, becoming more like the being God created us to be just like I will be striving to do.
Take comfort in that.
And remember, our observance is not meant to be a temporary fix up. Last year we should have advanced a bit in the spiritual life. Granted, it may have waned a bit, but some progress should have been made. This year we build on that! And next year we will build on what we did this year. It may seem like a season of hardships, but it is in fact a season of with great payoffs.