Every year when Lent begins, I get extremely ambitious. I try all sorts of new devotions, pray the Liturgy of the Hours, and go the extra mile to make it Adoration or daily Mass. Lent invigorates me in this way, and truly, it is wonderful.
Then we come to the mid-point of Lent, and my enthusiasm wanes a bit. I have inevitably taken on too many things all at the same time, and I cannot keep up with them all. This is so incredibly predictable, yet I make the same error year and year. When Holy Week rolls around, I pick up steam again, as all of the beautiful liturgies re-inspire me.
After all of that, Easter comes, and here we are, yes? It is Easter season, and we stay in this joyous time all the way through Pentecost. It’s a long season, and it coincides with the natural rebirth happening around us in spring. Yet in the past, I never considered seeing Easter as another opportunity to take on new spiritual refreshment.
This year, I am taking a different approach to Easter. Following the Triduum liturgies, I am feeling rejuvenated and recharged. So why not use that energy for a good purpose?
Lent is certainly an ideal time for a spiritual examination and setting of new goals. Easter though, with its joyful journey toward Pentecost, can serve that same purpose. One of my Lenten resolutions was to get to Confession. I achieved that, and the spiritual consolation that I feel is absolutely immense. Why not use Easter as an opportunity to avail myself of this sacrament again, and to resolve to carry this forward with me throughout the rest of the liturgical year? More frequent reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, check! I am certain that I will still fail in this regard sometimes, as I am wont to do, but increasing my efforts in any way is an achievement in and of itself.
In terms of prayer, I am looking at what devotions really stuck with me throughout Lent, and which did not. I started a prayer journal, a new habit that I am absolutely relishing, so I am going to continue on with this routine. I began noting down the novena intentions that I am currently praying about, and I started a monthly novena goal with some friends. This way we can pray for each others' intentions regularly. The journal helps me to keep track of everything; all of the intentions, our intercessors, and what I would like to add in as things inspire me. This is something that I have begun during Easter that I hope to continue long after. Nerdy? Maybe, but it is feeding my soul and is great fun to collaborate on with friends!
I suppose the way that I am looking at this is that I want to harness some of the intense spiritual power Lent holds and scatter it in other parts of the Church year. There is no limit on God’s presence and mercy, and so we should not be afraid to seek it out whenever we can.
How about you? Do you have any Lenten practices that you are carrying over into Easter? Are you beginning anything new in your spiritual life this Easter? I would love to hear about it in the comments!
Copyright 2016 Tiffany Walsh. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Tiffany Walsh is a wife and mother, a native western New Yorker, and a college librarian. She is a cradle Catholic who rekindled her childhood faith as a graduate student via her love of books, and is the author of Exploring the Catholic Classics, part of the Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women series. She enjoys writing about faith, crafting, dance, fitness and wellness. Visit her blog at Life of a Catholic Librarian.