Episode 43 – An Imperfect Lent

Man walking potholes episode 43
Photo by Jan Krömer

Jake and Brett conclude a three part series on Lent and discuss how having an imperfect Lent can open us to receive God’s abundant mercy.

Guiding Quote

“I can’t seem to follow through in giving up for Lent. Which makes me want to just give up Lent. Which makes me question Who I am following. Which may precisely be the point of Lent.” (Ann Voskamp)

Key Points

  • Lent doesn’t always go the way we hoped
  • Lent isn’t about getting all your fasts “right”
  • When things don’t go well, we usually have an internal response
  • Lent is an opportunity to see what we really believe
  • Our decisions “reveal” what we actually believe
  • St. Therese of Lisieux is a master teacher in this area
  • Jansenism is a heresy that teaches it’s impossible be be holy enough to receive God and that God is harsh and unforgiving
  • We often struggle with the belief that we have to be perfect before we can go to God
  • In a loving response to Jansenism, God chose to reveal his tender mercy to the world through St. Faustina
  • “The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” (Psalm 145:8)
  • “Keep your eyes fixed on the outstretched arms of Christ crucified, let yourself be saved over and over again.” (Pope Francis)
  • God is the one who
  • “My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls, and especially for poor [poor, humble, poor in spirit] sinners…[I]t is for them that the Blood and Water flowed from My Heart as from a fount overflowing with mercy. For them I dwell in the tabernacle as King of Mercy. (Diary, 367)” (Jesus to St. Faustina, Diary 367)
  • It’s never just me and the difficulty…it’s always me, the Father, and the situation
  • Sin really matters; we can’t overlook or diminish it
  • If I don’t trust God, I will not grow in my relationship and discipleship
  • “Jesus, I trust in you” is a great phrase to repeatedly pray

Discussion Questions

  • What struck you from this episode?
  • How is your Lent going?
  • How do you respond to yourself when you aren’t “successful” in Lent? What’s going on your heart?
  • Do you struggle to believe and trust in God’s mercy? How do you see that in your life?
  • How do you respond to God’s never-ending abundant mercy?