As I find myself observing my first Ash Wednesday since my baptism into the Catholic faith (I observed two before today), I am hesitant to choose that one something to give up. There are truly so many things available to me, not necessarily bad habits that need eliminating or rectifying or sins that need reconciling, but between candy and dessert, soda and McDonald’s Breakfast Burritos, television and internet, the present list goes on like a persistent gnaw at my subconscious, and I’m not sure where my Lenten (or should I say life -) priorities should lie.
In addition to giving something up, what do I add to my day to encourage me in my spiritual contemplation, the new awakening to my continuing faith journey? In the past, I’ve committed to a daily reflection. Unfortunately this has lasted about two days. Maybe I’ve taken on too much, been overly ambitious, trying to publish a missive rather than a thought.
Should I pray more?
Should I give myself some extra alone time in the morning to reflect and ruminate? Perhaps use as a model the Daily Examen of St. Ignatius?
Everything I’ve mentioned and thought about for this Lent looks good and interests me, but so far none feel right; none feel faithful.
They all feel forced, a put-uponing rather than a release, a lethargy of excuses rather than an arousing of spirit or a growth to carry me through these next forty days.
I am at odds with myself and it all feels muddled; a disarray of good intentions amid the clutter of listlessness, torn between excessive piousness and not enough, walking the fine line of knowing who this Lent is for – my outer self or my inner soul.
As I spend the rest of today in G-d’s grace, I’m hoping He will show me which direction to take at this Ash Wednesday crossroads.