From The Hand of Fr. Aaron Ferris For March 17, 2019

Lent has barely started but, as with New Year’s resolutions, it can be easy to find ourselves already behind the eight ball. Who knows whether it is true or not, but some polls show most people give up their New Year’s resolutions in about ten days. We are at that mark for our Lenten commitments, so it is worth considering how we are doing in the first stretch. There are three basic possibilities: our Lenten penances and devotions are easy; they are difficult; or we haven’t really tried yet.

If we find that our Lenten practices are easy, then we have an opportunity to turn them up a notch. Remember, that is one notch. Let’s not go from fasting one day a week to fasting five days a week. Too big of bites is almost always a recipe for disaster. We can always ratchet things up in the future. Let’s stretch ourselves one step at a time.

If we find that our Lenten practices are on the difficult side, then we are, in general, in the right place. The difficulty is a sign that we are out of our comfort zone and being stretched (pushed, reshaped, or whatever other word you want to use). You could throw in a lot of cliches here, “no pain, no gain” and that sort of thing, which are true.

Then, for any number of reasons, we may find ourselves in the position of not really trying yet. This is probably the easiest position to be in because to change it means that all we have to do is start trying. Whatever the reason may be that we haven’t really started, we can acknowledge that it is a terrible reason and get over it. Even when we start, we might find that we have started on the easy side of things. No worries, we have at least started.

The great part of this is that, as we go along, we can continue to evaluate and change how things are going. Maybe what was once difficult is now easy, so it is time to ratchet up a notch. Maybe life has thrown us a serious curve ball and what was easy has now become difficult; then we are right where we need to be for the time being. Maybe we let the easy street become too normal, and we have stopped trying, which means we just have to start again. Whatever position we find ourselves in, there is an answer.

Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron R. Ferris Ordination Date: June 6, 2009 Pastor, St. Anthony Parish (Saranac) and St. Mary’s Parish (Lowell) 402 Amity Street Lowell, MI 49331 Phone: 616-897-9820
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