March 1, 2017

Escaping Moderation: A Lenten Sacrifice

As Lent fast approaches - I mean it literally starts today - I've been juggling with what I should give up this year; chocolate, Facebook, or reality T.V.? I've offered up most of these options in the past, and while they are all sacrificial and simultaneously inspiring, they just aren't speaking to me this year. 

Escaping Moderation: A Lenten Sacrifice

When I decide on my Lenten sacrifice, I evaluate my lifestyle so that I can eliminate something that will be a true challenge. This year I started to mentally list all the things that I do in abundance, but the conclusion that I came to is that I live a very modest lifestyle. I eat fast food, occasionally. I enjoy chocolate, sometimes. I indulge on a glass of wine several times a month. The reality is I'm not really an overindulgent person. That got me thinking, do I do anything in abundance?

I probably do watch too much reality T.V., and I admit to having an abundance of laundry throughout my house. From a more positive perspective, I do overindulge on kisses from my kids, but I can't think of anything else that I do with pure abandon; with no care or restriction. I'm just not on fire and the conclusion that I came to is that I'm not on fire for God either. Realizing this was like a stab in the heart.

I pray, often. I attend mass. I'm a part of a weekly faith-sharing group. Heck, I even occasionally share my faith here on the blog, but there's something missing. The burning deep down desire, the unquenchable need to be close to God just isn't there. I'm not implying that I don't have faith or that I even don't occasionally have those all-consuming, euphoric moments offered to us through the Holy Spirit, I'm just admitting that they don't happen often enough. I'm realizing that while most things are best in moderation, the desire to be near God is the exception to that rule. The Book of Revelation even tells us, "'I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.'"So this Lent I plan to set my heart free and unleash a wild abandon for Christ!

Oh how quickly the tides turned. One second I'm trying to come up with ways to simplify my life and eliminate unnecessary distractions, and the next minute I've come to the conclusion that I need to set my soul on fire this Lent. I plan on starting that by reading the Gospels and journaling about those select passages each day. I've broken up the Gospels in a printable below so that you too can follow along and read them with me.

Read the Gospels in 40 Days
I'm hoping that by giving myself over to Christ for an undetermined amount of time each day to read the Gospels and journal, I will rejuvenate my soul and escape moderation. I would love it if you would take this journey with me, especially if you are still scrambling to determine what you're going to do this Lent.

Have you ever been stuck in the lukewarm waters of faith? How did you escape the moderation to fully embrace the Holy Spirit?

I wish you a blessed and spiritually awakening Lent,
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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your honesty!! A while back I was rightly advised to not take my faith based on feelings - if I don't *feel* as though I am all on fire, it doesn't mean I am not... if we rely on our feelings, it could allow Satan to hinder our faith, by clouding our feelings.

    Just a thought!

    The other thing I do when I feel lukewarm is to analyze what I am already doing, versus what I need to do more of. I think most times, I wind up lukewarm because I overextend myself, which then requires me to get back on track by spending some quality downtime with God - whether in Adoration or the Blessed Sacrament, giving my ALL to Him!

    You are not alone in these feelings, and thank you for sharing these raw feelings. I pray your Lent is fruitful in inspiring the fire I think you desire!