The days of Lent are quickly coming to an end, what has this Liturgical Season been like for you? Have you taken time to truly enter into your Lenten fasting and spiritual growth? Or has it just been another blur of a month in the midst of all your busy parish programming?
The Church offers us so many incredible opportunities throughout the year to continually grow in our relationship with Christ, but when you work for the church sometimes it is hard to take it personally.
Too often in ministry can Lent become something to guide your teens through and explain to all your less than understanding friends and family members, rather than being a time of personal prayer and spiritual spring cleaning.
The heart of Lent can be lost in all the “Do’s and Don’ts” when we are continually having to explain to teens why they have to fast on Fridays, or what Lent is truly about (especially when the girls fast from sweets to lose five pounds for Prom rather than as a spiritual exercise of will).
So if you are feeling a little less than “entered-in” to Lent, here are three simple things that you can do to get a little more out of the last days of lent.
1. Offer It Up
Sorry for the over-used cliché!… But, Lent is a time of sacrifice and suffering, and lucky for you there’s a whole lot of opportunity for that when you work with teenagers. So next time you are a little less than thrilled to talk to the same over-emotional teenage girl for 45 minutes… again — offer it up. Or when you are about to lose it when your oh-so-favorite sophomore boy breaks yet another ceiling tile messing around in the youth room — offer it up.
All of these little things can add up to a great amount of suffering, which we all know means eventual spiritual growth and sainthood.
2. Go To the Chapel
How many of you have an adoration chapel less than a two-minute walk from your office? How many of you go in the chapel once a day, once a week, once a month… ? At some point we all make excuses for why we cannot make it those few yards to the chapel, and most of the excuses are really lame.
So for the rest of Lent I challenge you to go to the chapel for at least five minutes a day, more if you can, and see what kind of a difference that makes in your attitude and outlook on your ministry. Remember He is the reason why you are employed and doing what you do (and not to mention saved from your sins), so the least you can do is stop in and say “hey.”
3. Spring Clean
Take a few minutes to look around your office. How clean is it? Are there piles of papers everywhere? Left over retreat shirts strewn across the chairs? Who knows how old those potato chips are under your desk?
During Lent the Church encourages us to take time to go to Confession and do some spring soul cleaning, but often times the environment around us can be a reflection of, or influence how we feel. So pick a time when you can set everything else aside and clean up and organize your office.
Don’t let these last few days of Lent just slip by you; take some time to make them count and give it your all!