I can’t help it! I’m longing for Lent again!
I would imagine that this sounds like a strange claim.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am truly rejoicing in the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior, and my heart sings His praises.
However, I am also becoming painfully aware that I am back to waging war on my sweet tooth. “That’s normal,” they tell me. Hmmm . . . then I don’t want to be normal!
The incredible genius and beauty of the great season of Lent is that it shows us who we are capable of being. A time to offer up sacrifices to help Our Lord carry His cross and sufferings, Lent is also a time of renewal of our own bodies and souls.
I definitely become a better person during Lent. I gain the ever-elusive virtue of self-control, welcoming its challenges and benefits in ways that I don’t during the rest of the year. I also enjoy a deeper sense of Christ working in my life that is made manifest in an intimacy that can only come from joining my sufferings with those of His cross.
So, how is it possible that I can fall back into some of my old ways so quickly?? I guess that the fall of our first parents has a greater hold on me than I would like to admit.
Thankfully, knowledge is power! With the understanding of my fallen nature exists a certain resolve to overcome it. Although resolve is great, I do need some practical ways to put my faith into action.
As I tossed several ideas around in my brain (like trying to convince my brain that it is still Lent!) I couldn’t help but muse, “I wish I had a Catholic life hack!”
Yes, I am aware that if such a thing existed it might reveal an open door to the easy way out, a door that typically doesn’t lead in God’s direction. But I then considered why such a thought would cross my mind in the first place. Although on the surface it appeared that I desired an easy fix, I realized that in reality, I was looking for something that was really just doable – with a more permanent time frame rather than the temporary one I had leaned on for Lent.
Could there be such a thing? As I prayed about it, a thought from Matthew Kelly’s “Rediscovering Jesus” came to mind. Since self-control seems to be at the same time both my nemesis and my saving grace, I knew I had to approach it carefully. Kelly’s “delayed gratification” process seemed right up my alley. This idea encourages those of us with these struggles to practice waiting for 5 minutes before giving in to something that tries to diminish our self-control. If I can hold off for 5 minutes, I have successfully proven I am capable of overcoming my fallen nature. Once I have achieved holding off for 5 minutes several times daily, I can continue to lengthen the duration of time for a specific object of my self-control or for delayed gratification in general. In time, I may be able to master self-control in certain aspects. What a blessing that would be!
Catholic life hack? I would venture to say so.
If you are one of those who join me in my sentiment of missing a Lenten lifestyle, try the “delayed gratification” process. It may be the Catholic life hack you’ve been looking for!
Copyright 2017 Christina Nagy