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Catholic Spiritual Direction

Lent is Not Over Until It is Over – Here’s Some Humorous Help for Latecomer Resolutions

February 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Lent, Seasonal Meditations

Lent is not over until it is over. Some of you have probably found yourself within the lenten season without any direction whatsoever. A brilliant priest, Fr. Shane Johnson, has created a humorous but very effective way of thinking our way through how we might yield our souls to God during Lent. If you have yet to make your commitments, use this chart and don’t be discouraged. It is never too late to give more to God.

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the founder of Catholic Spiritual Direction, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, and author of the award winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God. Beyond his “contagious” love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN’s National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN’s Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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  • Patricia Washatka

    Is it possible to get copyright permission in order to share via a parish bulletin?

    • http://www.spiritualdirection.com/ Dan Burke

      Feel free – just provide a reference back to the site

      • Patricia Washatka

        Excellent! Thank you!

  • Becky Ward

    This is great!!  :)

    Thank you Fr. Shane, and thank you Dan for sharing it!!

  • M B

    Hah!  That’s great!

  • Kathy

    That’s clever, but also very insightful! Thanks, Dan!

  • Rustyrusticator

    Excellent!

  • LizEst

    Too funny!  But, a great way to explain some of the stuff of Lent! 

    Would have liked to see the part about almsgiving in there, too!  Lots of folks could use a hand.  Perhaps he can update.

  • http://www.facebook.com/frshane FatherShane Johnson

    Yes, you’re right! I realized that almsgiving and works of charity were missing shortly after I published it elsewhere. I’ll definitely get it updated for next year… in the meantime, at least you’re thinking in the right direction and can update your own resolution as needed!

    • LizEst

       Thanks Father Shane.  Good to put a face to the name, too!
      A good and holy Lent to you!

  • Sunnyshadow

    Gluttony is a real sin.  You can give up food for reasons other than vanity.  Would you tell an addict to give up booze for Lent, or would you tell him that he is vain?

    • $1650412

      @ Sunny- you are so right, gluttony can really be a problem. And anything coming between us and trusting in Christ for our comfort sustenance and provision is a hinderance to our well being overall not just an exercise in being more appealing to the world.  I think this flow chart is just poking fun at us as Catholics in how we can trade out something we really prefer, but find it’s not much of a prayer in sacrifice afterall. I think this flow chart is really more about motivating us to take whatever we are offering the Lord to the heart level- you know, make it really meaningful– intentional, if you will. Anyone who struggles with giving up what they prefer to eat or what they love to eat or even taking less than they desire to eat understands the challenges involved in this particular penitential season and how the mortification of self denial is not so much about vanity, but really about living in Christ. ( I never crave beef, lamb, chicken or pork much as I do on Fridays in Lent!) And even if I think lobster is an ok alternative, or that I really need to manage my weight more anyway- I certainly do hope my resolution to follow Jesus goes deeper than trying to make any sacrifice in Lent a win-win– you know the meet the minimum obligation for the requirement and derive a worldly benefit at the same time scenario! I think that is what Father is getting at- let’s really get focussed on God and doing HIS will. When we get that part centered in our hearts, the rest will flow.

      • http://www.spiritualdirection.com/ Dan Burke

        Fr. Shane could comment but I took it the same way you did. Well said about that and beyond…

      • http://www.facebook.com/frshane FatherShane Johnson

         Thanks, Jo! Yes, that was the intent. And of course @d53744783b7c2d5bdba8cc71bf140043:disqus is right too. It was designed — imperfectly, of course — for a youth blog I run, where the challenge is getting young people to “turn the corner” from a childlike way of living their faith to an adult way of living their faith. We adults tend to be more complicated, so designing something that takes a variety of different spiritual situations into account would make for a flowchart that’s, well… complicated! Maybe for next year’s version something better can be designed with your feedback. God bless you all, and have a holy Lent!

  • Barbaraksanders

    suggestion:  instead of “giving up” things for Lent, try
    “giving out” things.
    1.  a hug for someone who never gets one
    2.  a note of appreciation for the gifts each member
         of the family contributes
    3.  note to a priest on what his life gift means to you
       etc.
    barbara

    • http://www.spiritualdirection.com/ Dan Burke

      Apprrove

  • CLaudia

    Thank you!

  • Susanbtkc

    LOVE This, love Fr. Shane too : )

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sarah-Melnychuk/810790037 Sarah Melnychuk

    hmmm… I fail to see the humor … maybe I have a different kind of humor but just for kicks I answered through every question with a NO and even though I said I didn’t like chocolate, at the end the chart still told me to give up chocolate… now, if I were telling the truth with all my NO responses then it doesn’t make sense to be told to give up any chocolate… for the simple reason that if I don’t like chocolate I’m not going to be eating chocolate, therefore, it’s more of a sacrifice to eat chocolate then it would be to abstain from chocolate… And I question the thought of only being able to hear God in silence.  I believe it is possible to hear God in the hustle and bustle of things too… the only problem is, so many of us tend to place God on the back burner in daily life when really he should be front and center and behind everything we say, do, and think…  and if he is front and center and behind everything we say, do, and think then we’ll be able to see and hear God in everything because He is forever speaking to us… the problem is, since in the hustle and bustle may lead us to placing God in the back burner we may fail to recognize God’s voice and His leading because we’re not searching for Him in everything we say, do, and think, but if we do then there is a guarantee we will hear God speaking to us even if it’s loud and noisy and full of activity.