How to fail at Lent.

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Lent is almost upon us. I can’t believe it. It’s still Christmas, right? I mean, seriously. Where did the time go. Anyway, some years I feel incredibly ready for Lent and have all my intentions lined up and ready. And then there are years when I am not. so. prepared. #enoughsaid

Yet, Lent is so beautiful. It is actually one of my favorite times of the year. There is this emphasis on holiness that causes me to face and embrace my imperfections and throw myself at the feet of my loving Jesus. It’s failure done right.

Failure done right is our path to Jesus

Let’s face it: we all gonna fail. May as well get some benefit from it.

Don’t beat yourself up if you are halfway through your bacon cheeseburger when you realize that you were fasting red meat. Just run to Jesus. Lent is a school of grace. Grace is participating in the life of Christ. So, invite Jesus into your failure and see things from another angle.

Here are 10 ways you can fail:

1. Resolve to get up earlier every day. Set the alarm for five minute earlier than the day before. By the end of 40 days you’ll be getting up more than 3 hours earlier than you did on Ash Wednesday. Now you have no excuse for having no time to pray.

2. Resolve to pray more. Doesn’t have to come all at one time in one big chunk. Just pray more often. Like instead of just praying before you eat, pray afterwards, too. Pray before you put on your shoes, while you brush your teeth, while you’re in your car.

3. Stop watching the news. This would be a good resolution even without Lent. Just stahp feeding the panic machine.

4. Fast politics. Seriously. All the egos and weird hair will still be there after Easter.

5. To go with number one (above), go to bed earlier. Or just at a reasonable time, say before the clock switches from PM to AM.

6. Face your own selfishness. We all just have too much damned stuff! To quote St. Basil The Great, “When someone steals another’s clothes, we call them a thief. Should we not give the same name to one who could clothe the naked and does not? The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry; the coat unused in your closet belongs to the one who needs it; the shoes rotting in your closet belong to the one who has no shoes; the money which you hoard up belongs to the poor. You do wrong to everyone you could help but fail to help.”

7. Turn off the wifi at night. Not only is this good for your rest, you will also learn that the internets will still be full of cray when you turn it back on in the morning.

8. Get to church on time. Number one and number five (above) will probably help with this. Just saying.

9. Eat slower. Sometimes we think Lent is all about depriving ourselves of tastiness. But, how about thinking it is also about learning to slow down, appreciate more, be more mindful, cultivate gratefulness.  So rather than scarfing down your sandwich, how about sitting down and letting your body really experience nourishment.

10. Pay your library fines. They are waiting on you so they can build out the children’s wing.

What's the deal with Lent?

More Lenten Inspiration Here:

What’s the Deal With Lent Anyway?

Lent For The Rest of Us

Embracing The Failure

The Lenten Journey With Children:

Radiant! Inside and Out!

In a child-friendly and life-affirming way, it walks you through the 10 plagues experienced by Egypt, finding God’s thread of hope, redemption and love!  Along the way you are given little bite-sized assignments to get your heart and home ready!  By connecting physical acts of work and mercy to spiritual meditations of grace and life the big picture comes together in a new and exciting way! (Radiant! Inside and Out!)

Family Devotions You Can Do!

Stations of the Cross For Children

Bringing Lent Home with Mother Teresa: Prayers, Reflections, and Activities for Families


  1. Some time ago I have decided to give up the internet (except for emails) for Lent and now I’ll add “get to church on time” 🙂
    Running to Jesus when I fail is nothing spontaneous for me, so, thank you for your timely article very much.
    Have a blessed Lent and Easter

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