Compare the preparation of Lent with that of a large lavish wedding. There is the slow beginning when the bride has no idea what she wants so she looks at everything until she can narrow her focus, settle on just the right thing. There are weeks of getting everything just right. Then the wedding day comes closer and everything up to this point simultaneously seems like not enough is done and there is too much yet to do! Eventually things settles down and the preparation seem routine, until the evening before the wedding. Excitement is high. The day of the wedding seems as if it would never have come. When it does and all is going on it feels as if the day will never end, until it does.
The next morning there is a strange sense of let down. The mundane hits you like a tons of bricks. Suddenly you are this new you without any feeling of change.
This can also happen at Easter. You have worked so hard on your Lenten promises. Picking yourself up when you fail. Working hard to build momentum for each stage of your journey. You gave alms, you prayed, you did good works. Maybe you went to every service the Church celebrates to try and get deeper into the spirit of the season. You made it a point to read your bible daily. You found time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Holy Saturday Vigil comes and you can sense the end is near. There is excitement at the prospect of Easter. Easter comes and you just don’t feel as different as you had hoped. What does that mean?
It doesn’t mean that you are now spiritually inept. It may mean that the focus was more external than internal. It may mean that you have yet to recognize the change that Lent has helped you achieve. It also doesn’t mean you have failed at Lent. Lent isn’t a one and done thing. It’s not as if the Church says: “Well, you missed your chance, have to wait until next year!” No, the spirit of Lent can happen anytime.
During the next 50 days of Easter look at your Lenten promises; which were the most successful and you would like to become part of your daily self, that after all is the hope of Lent, we change and continue that change. Now look at what was not so successful, see how you can modify it and make it something to work on during the 50 days of Easter. Think of these revisitations of Lent as gifts to God, not as punishment, ultimately gifts to yourself.