“For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” (James 1:3). Is James aiming these words at people experiencing the “halfway-through-Lent doldrums”? Even if we don’t exactly look forward to Lent, many of us genuinely set out on Ash Wednesday committed to denying ourselves something, a practice which can help us to stand in solidarity with people who go without through no choice of their own. Some people decide to do something specific to help others, and some choose to deepen their relationship with God through special prayer practices. Whatever way is chosen, as we come toward the middle of Lent, fasting, almsgiving or praying may start to feel tedious and a chore. James reminds us that this is a test. We need to hold fast, recommit and follow the example of Jesus who, when the going got tough, steadfastly continued on his journey to the Cross out of love for humankind.
By Karen Rose< OSB