It happens around the fourth week of Lent every year. I get burnt out with the season. I start Lent with such grand expectations of delving deeper and reflecting often, but after a few weeks, I run out of steam. I’d rather just watch TV while I dye some eggs and wait for Easter to get here.
And it bothers me that I get burnt out. I wonder what’s wrong with me that I can’t commit to a better spiritual life for more than a month. Am I really that lazy? Do I realize prioritize God that low? And I have to face that yes, I am, and yes, I do. And that makes me feel crappy, and feeling crappy does not make me what to get back on track. It’s a spiral of spiritual sloth.
Last year, I was seeking clarity. This year, I’m joining the Catholic Church. But neither seems to make a difference in the fourth week slump, except maybe I’m more agitated because my expectations were higher. One of the things the past year has taught me is that my faith rises and falls. That leaves a lot of days that are somewhere in the middle, neutral. But I know the rises and falls will come again; I can’t get too comfortable in the middle.
So this year, I’m not succumbing to the slump; I won’t just wait it out until Maundy Thursday. I have too much going on spiritually to check out for a couple of weeks. I’m forcing myself to stay the path. And I know it will feel artificial at first, like I’m just grasping at straws or going through the motions. It probably won’t be as fulfilling as it did back in February. But it’s important to keep going, even when I don’t feel like it. I have to remain open. I don’t know if God will speak or me or not if I’m just going through the motions, but I do know that I won’t hear Him if I’ve completely checked out.