Congratulations! You’ve hit the halfway mark for Lent 2021! It’s all downhill from here, right?

Perhaps the kind of downhill ride you’re experiencing isn’t one of success but rather the feeling that you’ve fallen off your bike and are sliding down the slippery slope of botched resolutions, best intentions fallen to the wayside, and a general air of laxity.

I call it Lent Fatigue. Lent Fatigue is the point at which you wonder whether you can keep going at all much less pick up steam. You’re asking yourself if you took on more than you can handle in Lenten strivings and may even see yourself as weak. Or, it could be the opposite. Perhaps your resolutions have become simple and rote and you no longer feel challenged. Lent needs to cost you significant effort and when that effort is too difficult or too easy, you can become stagnant and disappointed. During Lent, we all should feel as though we’re growing spiritually and when the growth gets stunted, we need to make some changes in the way we’re going about it.

Here are some recommendations for how to break out of Lent Fatigue, re-energize, and cross the finish line refreshed, renewed, and reconverted.

Pause for a bit – a morning, an afternoon, or even just and hour and once you’ve invoked the Holy Spirit, take an honest look at where you’re at. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • In what areas did I fall short of my resolutions?
  • What kept me from keeping them?
  • In what areas did I do well?
  • What helped me to do well?

Don’t beat yourself up over what you did or didn’t do. That’s counterproductive. Just take it for what it is – what might have gone wrong and what might have gone right.

Then ask yourself these questions:

  • What was my intent for the resolutions I’ve not been able to keep?
  • What did I hope to learn or how did I hope to grow from them?
  • Why was I successful with the resolutions I did well?
  • What was my intent for them?
  • What did I hope to learn or how did I hope to grow from them?
  • Have I truly grown from them – even a little?

You might want to write your answers down so that you can look at them objectively.

After this, form a plan of action.

  • Consider what you did well and ask yourself if you might gain more from making those resolutions a little more challenging.
  • Consider what you weren’t able to do well and ask yourself if there’s another way to go about striving for that same kind and level of spiritual growth.

For example, if you chose to spend 15 minutes a day doing spiritual reading and it’s become a piece of cake, think about extending the time or reading in an environment that’s not quite so comfy.

If you’ve chosen to give up coffee but find that the withdrawal is so profound it’s making it impossible for you to function and care for those in your charge, try something different. If you take it with creamer or sweetener, drink it black. Or, make it less strong so you don’t have withdrawal and yet it’s not especially to your liking. Or, keep the coffee and give up something else that will be challenging (negative talk, your favorite fruit or vegetable, or even your favorite slippers).

Remember this essential point:

Outside of the obligations required by the Catholic Church (prayer, almsgiving, fasting and abstinence on the prescribed days), what you resolve to do or not do is far less important than the intention and attitude with which your approach it. If what you’ve chosen to do for Lent isn’t productive, then it’s time to switch gears – even at the halfway point!

Ounce you’ve rounded up your pause for re-evaluation, offer it all to Our Lord. Ask him for the strength, motivation, and determination to climb back up that slippery slope and begin again with renewed energy and abounding joy.

Here’s a great way to stay on track for the rest of Lent!

40 Days 40 Verses

Each day through Lent, receive a hope-filled Scripture verse and a brief message of encouragement to help you more fully live your Lenten striving.

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