3. The Temptation to Self-Improvement
Lent can very quickly become only about losing weight or ending some bad habit that has become an irritation in our lives, rather than growing close to God. And the devil would love for Lent to be all about us. But this is not what Lent is about.
As Father Anthony Gerber pointed out in an excellent post on this subject: “Lent is … about failing miserably—about you reaching that third week of doing the difficult, of choosing the nails and thorns of love… But then denying Jesus for a few pieces of silver, of comfort, of selfish, selfish self-love. And in that moment, you’re going to be brought to your knees and you’re going to lift your arms to the heavens and say, ‘Lord, I cannot do this by myself! Lord, help me! I’m so bad at love!’”
We are usually good at loving ourselves, and bad at loving others. This is why it’s important to choose penances that will help us to grow in selfless love.