Lent is a journey that leads to Easter Sunday. But what happens on our journey through Lent is always very personal.
Maybe you started off on the Lenten journey with a firm resolve of where you were going and what you would do every step of the way. From the moment you received ashes, you knew what sacrifices you would make, what prayer experiences you would pursue, and what alms you would give. You have a map and you are moving through Lent with your eyes fixed on Easter Sunday. But not everyone entered into Lent this year with the same sense of purpose and direction.
Maybe you stumbled into Lent this year. Maybe you feel as if you are limping along the path toward Easter with no preparation and no plans. You know that Lent is supposed to be a time for self-sacrifice, repentance, and conversion of heart that will bring a heightened sense of joy on Easter Sunday. But for one reason or another, you have been unable to capture the spirit of the Lenten season.
- You may feel as if you are just going through the motions with no spiritual consolations.
- You may feel as if you are unable to pray.
- You may feel as if God has abandoned you.
If this sounds like how you are experiencing Lent this year, don’t despair. Feelings of spiritual dryness are often God’s way of strengthening your faith. It’s easy to love the Lord when you have warm feelings or when good things are happening in your life. When you don’t feel anything, it doesn’t mean that you don’t love God, and it definitely does not mean that God has stopped loving you!
In times of spiritual dryness you have to rely on your faith and believe that the Holy Spirit will give you enough light to guide you through this time of darkness. And even if you don’t feel like praying, promise yourself that you will set aside prayer time every day.
In your prayer, you may not feel as if anything is happening, but prayer is always powerful and productive. It will provide the strength that you need to continue the journey to Easter Sunday, when you will join with the rest of the parish community in singing alleluias to the Risen Lord.