Does anyone else have a hard time with Lent?

For me, it seems like Lent just doesn’t work.

For one thing, it’s at the worst time of year–the weather is generally dreadful, I almost always catch some horrible virus and spend about 10 days feverish, coughing my lungs out, stuffy-headed, and exhausted, and unable to eat much of anything except Mountain Dew.

And our hospital workload is back-breaking. EVERYONE else is sick, too, and we end up going into work early in the A.M., sometimes before 5:00 a.m., and leaving late, usually after 4:00 P.M.

And this time change–ICK Totally messes with me

And it’s still dark, and still cold, and raining, and for the last several years, our city has experienced flooding.

And things are breaking in the house–we currently have no running water, so I had to get up at 4 a.m. and go to my gym to take a shower. First time I’ve been in my gym since last fall!

And while other Catholics are paring back on all their “extras” and trying to concentrate on Jesus, I’m busier than ever at church playing piano/organ, and so I’m definitely not sitting in the pews contemplating the Lord, but instead, making sure I have my music ready to go.

I wish that Christians who are secretly musicians would step up at Lent and take over for all of us who play all year long.

And there are extra Bible studies, which I signed up for at my parish–but haven’t yet attended and haven’t studied for because of all the stuff I’ve already talked about!

And even though meals are supposed to be simpler–it’s women (me!) who end up doing a ton of extra work trying to make those “simple” meals–instead of just picking up McDonalds, or making a frozen pizza (although while I’ve been sick, my husband has done a lot of take-out!). We actually spend MORE money on food during Lent trying to be “meatless.” It’s expensive! And it’s not really very tasty and we end up throwing a lot of it out.

I wish that Lent were in the autumn–that’s when I have actual time and energy to sit back and think about the direction of my life and my relationship to the Lord Jesus.

Oh, well. Easter’s on the way. And maybe that’s just the way God wants my Lent to be, so that I will trust Him instead of all the “Lenten disciplines.”


Mountain Dew sounds like penance to me.

In all seriousness, though, some of my Lents go better than others. Some years the weeks fly by and I haven’t done really much of anything over the requirements. Other years I’m able to focus.
This year I’m on a course of spiritual reading.

You could just take it to the Lord, and tell Him what you’re going through and ask Him to open your eyes and open the doors for what He wants you to do.



I’m sure there are special graces flowing to everyone who is working extra hard for the success of the Church and other people’s Lent.
On an unrelated note:
I personally have a theory that Lent comes at the leanest time of the year (in the “olden days” when most people were subsistence farmers) when the cellars were empty anyway, then it sanctified the hunger that people were probably going through anyway!


The Lord works in mysterious ways :sweat_smile:

I just eat Boca Burgers :unamused:

Just Do Your BEST :+1:


I gently suggest to you that very often it’s the thought that counts. You want to do something extra for Lent, but it sounds to me like you are already very busy with obligations and good works. The time may come when you are able to take on some more substantial Lenten penance, but for now I think just the desire can be meritorious. The point of taking on or giving up things for Lent should be to give us that twinge of remembrance of how Our Lord suffered for us in preparation for Easter, and it seems to me you are indeed experiencing this now.

And yes, through the years I have also had a hard time with Lent, especially when I was very busy with the demands of my job.


We may offer our everyday sufferings, while we endeavor to do good, during this time of transformation.

In the eastern Catholic churches there is an autumnal penitential period from November 15 to Nativity, with emphasis on prayers, alms, and fast and abstinence.


You can get pizza for Lent. Just make it cheese, or mushroom, or veg.

Also, every fast food place has fish sandwiches. Salad bars abound. There’s the good ol’ tuna salad sandwich, egg salad sandwich, peanut butter and jelly, baked beans, Mexican takeout with beans. Not a lot of work at all.


What bugs me about Lent are all the homilies suggesting that we are pretty much ignoring Jesus and being mean to our neighbor the rest of the year.


Here is a podcast(but also it is typed out and I love her for that because I rarely do audio) I heard last year about Lent and making your Lent fruitful nomatter what kind of Lent you are having.

I feel you on the everyone is sick. I question whether the liturgical color should be yellow, the color of suffering and pollen.


I have a hard time with Lent for some of the reasons you suggest. In my area, too, the weather stinks at this time and we’ve had a particularly terrible winter this year. It seems like it never ends. Days are still freezing cold, icy, dark–and cabin fever and the depression associated with it is everywhere. Everything is so much harder in winter, and you just want comfort–comfort food, relaxing things to do, etc. And then Lent comes and you are supposed to make life even harder for yourself…
I just don’t like Lent like some people do.


I don’t like Lent either.

It’s like dieting or exercise. It’s supposed to be difficult but at the end is supposed to be good for one’s spiritual health.


“Whenever anything disagreeable or displeasing happens to you, remember Christ crucified and be silent.”
-St. John of the cross-
Maybe a little before Lent (a couple of months?) ask the folks that print or write the parish bulletin to please put a notice asking for help with the piano/organ playing? Blessings.

That makes sense to me!



You and me–separated at birth!

It has been hard for me too this year. The weather is fine in Bucharest but I got.the flu and I feel dizzy and I am only proud of keeping up with praying the day of the week prayers each day.
I don’t take pride in the fasting, it just sort of happened that the busy time at work coincide with me not having enough mood to eat anyway. So maybe this is why I got the flu that many colleagues of mine had? Anyway a hard time.
And the killings in NZ did not help either.
I am just happy I overcame my anger with God previous to Lent. It is so much better without it. :grinning:

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Way back when I was more fervent, I took Lent rather seriously. I wanted to physically hunger just as Jesus hungered. I basically stopped eating. Went from 197 to 162 in 40 days. Co-workers thought I had cancer. They were almost right, that arrived a few years later.

However, we must not forget the prayer and alms giving that go hand-in-hand with fasting. For example,

Tobit 12:8-9 " Prayer is good with fasting and alms and righteousness. A little with righteousness is better than much with unrighteousness. It is better to give alms than to lay up gold: For alms doth deliver from death, and shall purge away all sin. Those that exercise alms and righteousness shall be filled with life:

Lent, despite the incursions of the world into our spiritual lives, is what we make of it. No investment, no return.


I agree. I’m often miserable and active enough that I don’t need lent taking away the few foods/leisure time I have that make me feel better.

That said, I aspire to not be such a wimp. Many have suffered a lot more than me and still choose to take on more suffering. That’s why I like St. John of the Cross so much. He inspires me in that way.

I have a hard time with Lent every year, but not for the sorts of reasons you cite.

One thing I learned years ago is that there is no point in making Lent about finding the limit of how much sacrifice and suffering I can endure for forty days. I don’t learn anything from that. It doesn’t improve my relationship with the Lord. Perhaps consider that, given your already hectic schedule, you’re asking too much of yourself…? For example, Bible studies are great, but not required. If you don’t have the time, you don’t have the time. Let it go and be at peace.

Hope you’re feeling better now, and know that I’m praying for you. God bless :pray:


I feel like another thing to think about is there are lots of different types of sacrifice. I had a friend who felt like God was calling her to rest during Lent so she forced herself to take a short nap everyday as her “penance” because of her season of life. It still felt like a sacrifice to her because she was giving up time, but it was different than depriving yourself of something. Maybe you should give up one of your obligations to spend more time in prayer or something like that.

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I too have a hard time keeping friday meatless during lent.My wife is protestant and does’nt understand the importance of it.

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