Okay. We’re a few weeks into the season of Lent. I hope your Lenten journey has proved fruitful thus far!

By this point, however, some of us have probably dropped the ball a little bit here and there. Maybe you’ve had a piece of that candy you gave up, or you’ve slacked here and there in saying those extra prayers and devotions you committed to, or you’ve hit the snooze button a few mornings like you swore you wouldn’t. Maybe, just maybe, you feel like you’re failing at Lent.

I’ve been there – it’s a few weeks into Lent and I’ve averaged doing what I committed to about 50% of the time, and the last few days I haven’t even tried to do my Lenten commitments, and now I feel really guilty and just feel like giving up at Lent all together and trying again next year.

This was supposed to be my Lent, the one where every day was full of profound experiences and deep spiritual growth, and I’ve botched it.

Don’t get discouraged. That’s not how Lent works. That’s not how growth in the spiritual life works.

“Therefore, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who causes the growth … you are God’s field, God’s building. (1st Corinthians 3:7,9)

If our spiritual growth – our journey ultimately towards salvation – were entirely up to us, we’d be doomed. We are not the source of our growth, God is. God allows us to cooperate in our own spiritual growth, but ultimately, He is the source of our progression in the spiritual life. Growth in the spiritual life is what happens when God allows us to participate more fully in His divine life.

So, don’t get discouraged. If you’ve failed a little or failed a lot, you have today. Start again. Recommit to Lent. Remember, it is God who causes the growth, not you

This blog was written by Sam Ford, Coordinator of Middle School Ministry here at St. Francis of Assisi. If you’re interested in writing a blog for St. Francis of Assisi, please contact Joseph at [email protected].