A Never-ending Race

A Never-ending Race

“One more lap to go.” I heard this statement recently in small talk over Lent, mostly in eagerness in regards to having chocolate, coffee or whatever else was given up back again. Before I agreed with the speaker too readily, I caught myself. Something didn’t sound quite right. Sure, we all can be happy that we get to go back to eating and drinking whatever we want without giving it a second thought (a problem in and of itself, but that’s another point entirely), but does that really warrant such wanted finality to Lent, one of the most holy times for us Catholics?

Rather, I think Lent should symbolize the beginning of our faith race, not the end.

We’ve trained for 40 days to become stronger in our resolve and closer to God; by now, we should be in peak shape.

So as we go into this final week of Lent, prepare to celebrate the end, but plan to keep on running after. There is no finish line in faith.


Photo credit: SXC


About the Author

Rachel Zawila is an assistant editor of St. Anthony Messenger magazine. With previous journalism experience in the spa and wine industries, she is skilled in the art of relaxation. An avid traveler, she enjoys meeting new people around the globe, hoping one day to find someone who can pronounce her last name correctly on the first try.
  • http://profiles.google.com/sr.leo.salazar Leo Salazar

    Well said. After more than 50 Lenten seasons behind me, this is the first time I’ve fully engaged in the three pillars of Lenten practice: prayer, fasting and almsgiving. It’s been a wonderful experience. Not only have I gained a great deal of spiritually deepening and humility, I’ve lost more than 20 lbs. Not bad, huh? 

    But, as you said, what happens when Lent is over? My feeling now is that there is no way to go back. To go back to old habits would be to consciously follow a path that I know is neither good for me nor for my relationship with God. To make a conscious decision to not continue in these healthy practices, both spiritually and physically, feels blasphemous. A mortal sin.   

    Thank you for confirming this for me. What comes after being in “peak shape,” as you put it? Another peak, and yet another, then another . . .