It’s getting late, so you know what that means.
Sassy Kathryn is in the house.
First, let’s chat Lent. How’s it going? Fallen off the wagon yet? I’ve only bought one thing since Ash Wednesday as part of my “no unnecessary spending” fast and I’m breaking my arm patting myself on the back. Sheez, Kathryn.
As I reminded my kids, Lent isn’t a checklist. There isn’t some checksheet where you put an “X” in the box if you were a good Catholic or a bad one for these 40 days. Thank the good Lord.
It’s about the transformation. And the sacrifice.
I always go in with such high hopes at the beginning, don’t you? Then, about a week in, I’m all, “Crap, this is hard.” But I’m not giving up, y’all. I’ve hit my second wind. Only 30ish days to go. We can do this.
Some of you know I have the Blessed is She prayer journal, Put on Love, as part of my prayer for Lent. It’s no joke. I was feeling preeeeetty good about my approach to Lent, and then I opened the first page. I’ll be the first to tell you that I am REALLY good at telling you what your sins are. But when the words in the journal reminded me that when I spy sins in others, I’m really seeing my own faults, I was all HOLD UP.
Mostly, because I have a dear friend whom I’ve known for a long time. She is on a path and I am worried about her. I have been so quick to lovingly share why she should re-route her life, all while neglecting just how much work I have to do within myself. Pot, kettle.
But all that rambling really leads me to this: how am I leading people to Christ? By shaming them? By pointing out their faults while I quickly hide mine behind my back? I keep forgetting that’s its not the eloquence of my words of how pure my heart may be that directs people to God.
HE does that. Not me.
I can be a vessel of the Holy Spirit. But I am not the Holy Spirit.
All too often the massive overhaul we see in others really needs to happen in us first. When we exude joy and patience and kindness and tolerance and faith, guess what? People notice. You don’t have to scream in ALL CAPS on your Facebook status that you are holy as all get out. People will know. You don’t have to shame people into attending Mass and making Jesus a priority because they will see your example. You don’t have to shake your head in judgment at other’s people’s life choices, you just have to love your neighbor. And mean it.
We’re so quick to see where we want people to be, that we forget to meet them where they are. We forget there is sanctification in the trenches. There is grace in the mess. There is redemption before us. God’s love isn’t always pretty, but it is always there.
As we begin to hit the meat of Lent (sorry, I couldn’t help myself), ask yourself what kind of Christian you are. More importantly, ask God what kind of Christian He desires you to be.
We can do this, y’all.