This is the fourth of a series of posts exploring Our Lord’s Divine Mercy.
By: Natalie J. Plumb
If you’re anything like me, you left Lent thinking, “That’s it?” No miraculous transformation, no spiritual renewal. Lent didn’t really hit the mark like it has in the past, or maybe it never does.
Because I am human in the end, sometimes my faith loses fire. And seasons like Lent aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
Following any sort of spiritual season when my expectations were high, but my “results” feel low, I consistently have to remind myself: Faith is not a feeling. Faith is not a crutch or a Band-Aid I can put on to make my wounds feel better. Faith is not a pill. It’s not as simple or mundane as that. As Matt Maher’s popular song reminds us:
It don’t have a job, don’t pay your bills
Won’t buy you a home in Beverly Hills
Won’t fix your life in five easy steps
But even though Lent wasn’t perfect for me, even though I broke my promises, even though I’m disappointed in my choices, that’s not the end of my story. That’s not the end of the human story. After all, God is the one who wrote it. And He wrote the most beautiful Love Story of all time; we can read it in the Scriptures. Jesus continues our story in love. Jesus resurrects from the dead and finishes our chapters for us. We just need to give Him the pen.
God still loves me. He still loves all of us, and wants us to come back home. No matter how much we messed up. No matter how little Lent “changed” our habits or practices. No matter what. And we should be carrying Lenten themes and practices throughout the whole year, anyway.
The parishes of the Diocese of Arlington are here to remind us of exactly that. During Lent, The Light Is ON For You (TLIO) left our churches doors, and those of the Archdiocese of Washington, open for confession every Wednesday evening. But just because TLIO is over does not mean our doors are closed. In fact, more than one-third of the parishes in the Diocese of Arlington are leaving their doors open for you on Wednesday evenings throughout the whole year. Here’s a list for your convenience:
Holy Martyrs of Vietnam – 6:30 – 7 p.m.
Saint Charles Borromeo – 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Blessed Sacrament – 7:30 p.m.
Good Shepherd – 6 – 7 p.m.
Queen of Apostles – 6:30 p.m.
Saint Lawrence – 7:15 – 8 p.m.
Saint Rita – 7 p.m.
Holy Spirit – 7 p.m.
Saint Michael – 7 p.m.
Saint Timothy – 8 p.m.
Saint Veronica – 6:30 p.m.
Saint Anthony Mission – 7:30 p.m.
Saint Mary of Sorrows – 6:30 – 7 p.m.
Saint Philip – 7:45 – 8:15 p.m.
Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception – 7 – 9 p.m.
Saint John the Baptist – 5:30 – 6 p.m.
All Saints – 6:30 – 8 p.m.
Sacred Heart – 7 – 8 p.m.
Saint John the Beloved – 6:30 – 7:15 p.m.
Saint Raymond of Peñafort – 6:15 – 6:50 p.m., and after 7 p.m. Mass
Saint John the Evangelist – 8 p.m.
Saint John Bosco – 6:30 p.m.
*I recommend visiting the parish website linked above to double-check that their confession schedule remains the same since this blog’s publication. Also, remember that you can always call a parish to schedule a confession time.
Pope Francis reminds us so poignantly:
“God never tires of forgiving; we tire of asking Him.”
Don’t be afraid to ask. And as Bishop Loverde reminded us here, may our “pre-Lent,” Lent and “post-Lent” – our whole year – be the time we remember “where and to Whom we are going.”