We are now in the middle of the second week of Lent and I’m sure some of us have already broken our Lenten Resolutions (repeatedly!!) and are feeling very discouraged about it all and tempted to just give up the attempt and pick something easier.

But maybe we should view these not as failures but as something that can be beneficial. It’s a bit like distractions during prayer. You might feel, ‘oh, I didn’t pray at all, I had so many distractions,’ but each time you realised that you had been distracted and turned back to God that was something good; that was prayer. It can be the same with our Lenten Resolutions.

Lent is a time to refocus and reorient ourselves towards God. We fast to make space in our lives for God to fill. The ‘space’ created by what we give up (e.g. TV or Social Media) should be given to God in some way (e.g. extra prayer, daily Mass, reading Scripture or a Saint’s life). That was the idea behind the ‘Trocaire Boxes’ we all had as children – the pocket-money we saved by giving up sweets was given to God by being given to the poor. So, if you think about it, every time you realise that you’ve broken your Lenten Resolution and decide to try again that’s a concrete moment when you’re turning to God, deciding to do something for him. And if it happens many times in the week (or day), then you’re turning to God many times in the week (or day) and asking him for help. It might even be better to have that type of a Resolution than to have something that’s so easy that you keep it without ever having to think about it.