Is Lent wearing you down? You are loved, even if you're falling on your face.
I know I just wrote about how to recover a fumbled Lent, but that was yesterday, when I was younger and full of hope.
Today is Friday. The 5th Friday in Lent, to be exact, and I feel exactly like I have jumped eye-first into a log. Tired, weary, and all too aware of how much my meager efforts at penance resemble this toad jumping. I’m one cup of toddler-spilled milk away from eating two small meals and one large meal composed entirely of chocolate (with a wine salad, for the nutrients). But this is the desert of Lent, and I’m exactly where I should be. This is the purpose of Lent—to remind us of who we are, and who God is.
God is the God of perseverance and consolation, as Pope Francis reminded us last Sunday:
Perseverance we can also define as patience; it’s the ability to support, to remain faithful, even when the weight seems to become too big, unsustainable, and we are tempted to negatively judge and abandon everything and everyone. [Consolation] is the grace of knowing how to welcome and show in every situation, even those largely marked by delusion and suffering, the presence and compassionate action of God.
Those quotes seem too big to live up to right now, but it’s helpful to remember that I’m just a frog. God doesn’t expect me to suddenly perform a grand jeté when thus far, my biggest accomplishment has been to land on my stomach and not my head.
“He’s perseverant in love for us, he never tires of loving us.” The confessional is there for just this reason—so I can fling myself upon the mercy of God, trusting in His love, and then go try again.
Keep hopping, fellow frogs.