I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to sin no more . . . . As I said those familiar words in the confessional one day, the importance of them hit me in a new way. With the help of Thy grace. How often have I said those words just skimming by them wondering how I could ever possibly avoid sin, let alone the near occasion of it?
If I am left to my own devices I find myself presented with near occasions of sin almost hourly. I am tempted to be uncharitable towards my husband, my children, my sister, my mother, those I work with, really anyone I come in contact with. I find reasons to complain all the time about my little problems. I indulge in that extra treat I do not need. And temptations to idleness surround my daily routine.
But God has not left me to my own devices. "Good and upright is the Lord, thus he shows sinners the way." (Psalm 25:8) He wants to help me to overcome my sinful failings.
The way He has shown us is modeled in His own Son who, “suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that he might lead you to God. Put to death in the flesh, he was brought to life in the Spirit. (1 Peter 3:18)
If we let God in, He will help us to see that dying to ourselves is a way to salvation.
If we take our Lenten sacrifices, if we offer our daily troubles, if we suppress our complaints and make them offerings of love, we can join Christ in being put to death in the flesh so that we can be brought more fully to life in the Spirit. A life lived this way is the path to eternal life.
Sisters, I pray that you will take this Lent to dive deeper into God’s desire to grow closer to you. Let Him help you in your Lenten sacrifices and offerings. He will not fail you. He will draw you closer.
Susanna Spencer is the Theological Editor for Blessed is She who studied theology and philosophy in her earlier life. She happily cares for her three adorable little girls, toddler boy, and her dear husband in Saint Paul when not writing and editing. She loves beautiful liturgies, cooking delicious meals, baking amazing sweets, reading good books, raising her children, casually following baseball, and talking to her philosopher husband. You can find out more about her here.