Monday, March 26, 2012

Finding it difficult to do penance this Lenten season

I don't know why...well I have an inkling, but I'm finding it difficult to keep up with what I promised would be my Lenten penance.  I had resolved to go on a modified daily fast of no more than 1400 calories, give up desserts, sweets, candy, soda, going out to eat, donuts on Sunday after Mass and shopping (other than grocery).  The only two I've been able to keep up are not eating donuts and shopping...those are relatively easy.  The others...well, I've broken them all and it was as if I had no resolve at all.  At first I couldn't figure out what the difference was between this year and last.  I thought that maybe it was the amount of stress I'm under, especially with the temporary accounting job I'm working right now.  But, that just rang hollow.  I believe now it's because I'm not getting any real encouragement or challenge from my parish to make a true penance that will lead me to fuller conversion to Christ.  From the banners I see at Church and on the marquee at another local parish, I'm being cajoled into "fasting from intolerance and feasting on love"...but there is really no teeth in that.  Where's the mortification?  Where's the suffering that I can unite with Christ's suffering?  I haven't gone to Confession in a while merely because the last two times, the priest didn't even give me a penance...nada...nothing...not even an easy one, like "recite a Hail Mary before the Blessed Sacrament." I feel as though I've wasted Lent this year, though I'm really going to try to do more during this Passiontide.

I miss my old parish and its pastor.  It was too hard to ignore Lent there.