Prayer, prayer, and more prayer. If nothing else works, at least pray and consistently as much as possible eventually, something will give.
God is incredibly merciful, and our best effort goes a long way. It also requires hard work by virtue.
We seek Him every opportunity by reading the Bible, going to church whenever possible, at the minimum once a week, preferably Sundays.
We must receive the sacraments such as the Eucharist, which renews strength, and confess to sanctify our soul.
Most important, we must be kind to each other, forgive on the spot, and resist temptation. It is a process, and every learning curve is different.
While others take longer, it’s just as good as one who gets it faster if both try just as hard; there are no rules for God looks at the heart.
We all fall short of His glory, so if we don’t get it right all the time, His compassion sees us through, just as the Bible says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.”
So careful not to judge others by claiming they don’t practice what they preach; otherwise, we would be equally guilty.
Remember, God is gracious to give us a fresh start each morning so we can make things right. It’s never too late to correct undesirable behaviors; just keep it in mind.
Prayer is most efficacious when combined with penance. Think of Jesus; how come He did not only pray for us?
We will not give ourselves lashes with a whip as did the saints of the past, but we can translate it to sacrifice. God requires the sacrifices of righteousness.
Fasting is a common way, and any form will suffice. God does not specify the duration, and we can abstain from any pleasures of the flesh other than food.
Waking up early to be more helpful when we don’t have to is virtuous. Working diligently and striving for excellence in obedience to God even when not noticed helps.
Difficult loyalty, therefore, becomes penitential. Holding back anger and showing kindness, taking the humble approach, and making ourselves last by placing Jesus first is good practice.
There are also cold showers, exercise, and sleeping on the floor that we may have to force ourselves to do so our suffering begets graces.
This Lent season, we can quit the things we need like smoking, drinking, and coffee, depend only on God and build resilience.
When we get injured or are hurting, we can offer it up to God at His disposal for the salvation of souls.
Pray to be vigilant in recognizing how many different ways we sin that we can avoid the darkness of evil and work in the Spirit within.
Not our deeds but by His mercy and love can we be holy like those in heaven above.
Staying close to God keeps us in His grace. Goodness and blessings fill our days when maintaining His embrace.