We learn through work that patience matters. That, eventually, given great effort day after day, year after year, we’ll see results. Through our experience in work, we can deduce that that progress in the spiritual life is slow, but that it will pay off. We learn that we don’t necessarily have to see the big picture in order to know it’s there.
Despite our best intentions, by their very force the material obligations of the Christmas season can push the more spiritual Advent activities aside.
Have you given anything up this Lent? It seems everywhere I turn this year, I have found recommendations about “doing” things for Lent. I’ve seen flyers taped to church doors, I’ve received videos from Catholic apostolates, and I’ve heard discussions via Catholic radio. They don’t suggest that we not attempt a physical discipline; but while they encourage us to engage in spiritual reading, help the poor, perform the corporal and spiritual works for mercy or spend more time in prayer, they say virtually nothing about restraining our appetites in any way. This “do something positive” trend seems to have increased in recent years….