Listen to God's voice at the foot of the crucifix." ~St. Gaspar del Bufaro~

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lenten Half Time

It's hard to believe we are officially half way through Lent! 
For me personally, it's been a topsy turvy 20 days, including a slow start out the gate.  

Our family made our Lenten Reconciliation the other night which typically leaves me feeling like a clean, soaring spirit.  But I still just didn't feel "good" a few days later and I wondered why?  I began to feel down on myself, resulting in sadness and frustration.  Do you ever feel like no matter how hard you try, you still fail miserably and you just don't feel "good" enough?  This was how I was feeling...Almost like I needed to march myself right back down to the confessional.  Realizing I needed a half time pep talk, I shut out the tempter who was prompting me to despair, and turned my soul upwards to the divine Coach...

I believe that pausing for half time is often necessary in the spiritual life, whether it be Lent, Advent or any other ordinary time.  I know for me in my current state of mind during this particular Lent, it was critical that I stop for a moment to assess where I am, where I've come from and refuel my soul for the road ahead.  Sometimes we are tempted to just give up at this point...Or any time if the road feels long.  Undoubtedly, if we are failing, we may feel like just tossing in the towel. 

Yet we must remember with confidence that He who rescued us from great danger of death, will continue to rescue us. (2 Cor 1:8-10)

With God's gentle nudging, I picked up this book of Blessing Prayers and began reading about the Keeping of Lent.  There was a passage that talked about the many misconceptions and erroneous notions that lead us astray and deprive us of hope.  In particular, it talked about how we need to have a right understanding of the role that our limitations, our fragility, and even our failings play in our sanctification according to divine providence.  Imagine that...Our weaknesses are part of God's intimate plan to help us grow in holiness!  I knew that.  Somewhere rattling inside my overloaded brain, I knew that but my head knowledge just didn't connect with my heart until I read this today. How quickly I forget that it is, in fact, out of our nothingness that Christ rises in glory for us on the resurrection.

I am sharing this Litany of Spiritual Confidence (Blessing Prayers, p. 30) that helped me tremendously during this Lenten half time.  May it bring hope to any reader who might need it!

Litany of Spiritual Confidence
R/ Lord, keep me close to you.

  • Lord, I can do all that you ask of me because it is you who strengthen me.R/Lord, keep me close to you.
  • Lord, whenever I fall you delight in my confidence to trust you all the more.R/Lord, keep me close to you.
  • Lord, let me look to you and not to myself to find what is needed to please you.R/Lord, keep me close to you.
  • Lord, when I am overcome with fear it is because my peace depends on some thing instead of on your will. R/Lord, keep me close to you.
  • Lord, free me from my hidden attachments to self-righteousness.R/Lord, keep me close to you.
  • Lord, let me always remember that it is you who move me to ask for your love.R/Lord, keep me close to you.
  • Lord, help me to see that the meaning of my faults is to learn to depend on you more and more.R/Lord, keep me close to you.
  • Lord, give me the strength to cry out for your love when all that I see is nothingness in myself.R/Lord, keep me close to you.
  • Lord, save me from the impulse to look for my peace and security in my own strength.R/ Lord, keep me close to you.
  • Lord, the more you let me see what I am left to myself, the more you give me the grace to cling to you.R/Lord, keep me close to you.
  • Lord, to be happy, I need nothing but what you provide for me at every moment.R/Lord, keep me close to you.
  • Lord, the more I live in the love you give me in this moment, the more perfectly I am able to suffer whatever comes my way.R/Lord, keep me close to you.
  • Lord, when I come to you at those times when I am overwhelmed by my own misery I glorify you the most.R/Lord, keep me close to you.
  • Lord, it is in being receptive to you in the knowledge of my own weakness that I derive all my strength.R/Lord, keep me close to you.
  • Lord, let me always remember that you want me to let you make me perfect by your love.R/Lord, keep me close to you.
  • Lord, the measure of my union with you is my faith in the power of your love to purify me and make me worthy of you.R/Lord, keep me close to you.
I am praying to be "content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Cor 12:10)

Have you read the Holy Father's Lenten Message yet? A great half time read:) I also enjoyed this USCCB article about 10 Things To Remember For Lent.  By some chance if you are still looking for a little online Lenten inspiration, be sure to visit the Oblates of St. Francis De Sales for their Lenten "Retreat on the Run."

+Praying your Lenten half time is full of God's sufficient grace to meet the hope of Easter dawn+


  1. Oh Tiffany, you have truly read my mind! I posted about the same thing yesterday and I too feel off and discouraged at times. Thank you SO much for the litany and lifting me up. It is just what I needed! Looks like I will have to add another good read to my wishlist :D Take care, sweet friend!

  2. Beautiful post. Thank you for the litany and Lent resoures. I was much in need of a half-time "pep talk."

  3. it's so true that Our weaknesses are just the way God wants us, so that he can mold us for His purposes. and i too keep failing to acknowledge that -- keep trying to fix those weaknesses all by myself, or worse yet, sweep my weaknesses under the rug. Thanks for this reminder. I'm going to check out those resources now (and I love that Litany. It puts us in the humbling posture we all need to be in).

  4. Thanks for the resources and for keeping it real! +JMJ+

  5. I often feel not "good enough" particularly after going to confession. I think the evil one works overtime after we have partaken in a sacrament. Lent is going by quickly and I know I needed this little pep talk. I really liked the article from the USCCB, thanks for sharing!

  6. Tiffany,

    I have not gone to confession in a while and I feel the same. I love your spiritual transparency on this topic. So many of us overlook this feeling and then we don't go further into ourselves to find out why and how we can fix it to be happier souls. I will be praying for you dear Tiffany, as I ask of you the same. I have not only been going through a little personal depression of the sorts and pray that God can heal me. Maybe why I feel that I have been avoiding confession all together. Along with my weight loss journey, I think they go hand in hand at times. As a mom we overlook ourselves almost all the time to tend to our families. For me the wave of guilt always gets me in the late evening, where I tend to be the emotional eater and fulfill a void I don't know is. As your song on your blog sets the tone for all who visit, we are all at the Foot of the Cross asking for forgiveness and mercy. Thank you for sharing your heart. I may not be able to comment all the time, but I do visit late at night from time to time and always pray and give good thoughts to a internet friend. God bless you Tiffany during this Lenten Journey.

  7. O gosh this is so beautifully written and what I needed. Thank you! Sharing it!

  8. Thanks, Tiffany! You always seem to share the perfect encouragement at just the right time. Much needed.

  9. Thanks for sharing your heart and the Litany of Spiritual Confidence.

    Continued prayers for you and yours during this Lenten Season.

    Pax, Lena

  10. The Litany is beautiful and what you spoke exactly what I was feeling. Hard to believe that this Lent is half way through.


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