Lent presents to us a unique time of the year when we are invited to look inside ourselves and at our spiritual lives, discovering the good and bad that is there.
If we are to be completely honest with ourselves, we will notice many areas that need growth and improvement. This can often be difficult for us, as we may not always want to see our faults and failings.
However, it is important to take a spiritual inventory during Lent, as it gives us an opportunity to reconcile ourselves with God.
Pope Benedict XVI recommended this practice in his message for Lent in 2011.
[T]he Lenten journey, in which we are invited to contemplate the Mystery of the Cross, is meant to reproduce within us “the pattern of his death” (Ph 3: 10), so as to effect a deep conversion in our lives; that we may be transformed by the action of the Holy Spirit, like St. Paul on the road to Damascus; that we may firmly orient our existence according to the will of God; that we may be freed of our egoism, overcoming the instinct to dominate others and opening us to the love of Christ. The Lenten period is a favorable time to recognize our weakness and to accept, through a sincere inventory of our life, the renewing Grace of the Sacrament of Penance, and walk resolutely towards Christ.
For some of us, this spiritual inventory will be more difficult to endure, as we already know our weaknesses and fear that more light upon our sins will lead us into despair.
The good news is that God reaches out to us in his mercy, ready to accept us into his loving arms. We need not be afraid of our failings, as God is ready to pick us up and set us on the right path.