It Is OK to Go It Alone This Lent – EpicPew

It Is OK to Go It Alone This Lent

How has your inbox been doing lately?

In the last 3-4 weeks you’ve probably received a minimum of 50 different emails telling you how to “make your life better” by setting a new year’s resolution, choosing your one word for the year, or getting healthier by joining the nearest gym. After all, gym memberships are so cheap in January!

With Lent coming up, there’s likely no shortage sign ups for Lenten reflections in your social media feeds or your inbox. It seems like everyone is vying for your attention and participation in “their” thing.


Now, there is anything wrong with that. Many of the people who have targeted your inbox and social media feeds are generally interested in your salvation and health. In fact, the reflections they have designed have likely been carefully crafted so that everyone can (g)row (i)n (f)aith (t)ogether and thus, they are a gift that has the potential to do some great work in your soul.

But it is not for everyone.

Having been through several of these Lenten meditations (and created a couple of my own), I can tell you with all honesty that they serve a tremendous service to the Church, but they also fail to produce on the level that most would want.

Read more: A Dozen College Students Describe Lent, Here’s What They Said

When they are created, the authors write in a way so as to appeal to the widest audience possible. This creates a very generalized platform that speaks to great number of people, but is unable to meet the individual where he or she is at. Men and women, religious and lay people, the youth and retired persons all receive the same message, which can be a great means to spark a flame within your soul, but not necessarily spread the fire.

That’s why I suggest going it alone this year.

To truly cause a torrent of change without ourselves, the lackluster soul must be polished by the will of the individual and God. Together. Bonded. Alone in their oneness.


St. Paul tells us that we must “work out our salvation with fear and trembling,” (Philippians 2:12b) because our journey, albeit in community as a Church, has the individual requirement for salvation that we can only face ourselves: the Cross

Jesus told his disciples that each person was to “take up their cross and follow” him (Matthew 16:24). There is nothing more personal than our sufferings, nothing more intimate than our struggles, and nothing more lonely than our crosses. It is the place where our imperfect faith unites with God’s grace much like the horizontal beam joins with the vertical beam where is nailed the Savior of the Universe.

He too, had to go it alone.

If we truly desire journey into the depths of spirituality, then the cross is our road-map. Through our sufferings, we “make up for what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of his body, which is the Church” (Colossians 1:24). It is there, in our Dark Night of the Soul, that we “have been crucified with Christ, so that it is no longer [we] who live, but Christ within [us]” (Galatians 2:20).

Read more: The Stories of These Relics of the Crucifixion Will Blow You Away

You are not a generalization nor a cookie cutter target that can be saved by  the words of an automated email campaign. You are unique individual made up of body and soul whose mission is to discover the meaning of your suffering and thus be able to offer yourself to the service of Christ’s body, the Church.

For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer” (2 Corinthians 1: 5-6).

This Lent, consider going it alone. Heed Jesus’ words and “go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” There, in the privacy of your personal contemplation, “deep calls upon deep” (Psalm 42:7) and your will is fused with his to achieve great things for his people.

Yes, we are one body with many parts. And yes, Saint Simon did help Jesus carry the cross. We are all to walk the road to salvation alone at all times, even Jesus had his Apostles,  disciples, even angels to minister to him. But our journey requires us to detach from all things worldly, to be fashioned by the Potter’s hands into a form that, “like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5).

This Lent make the sacrifice of going it alone. Perhaps then we can appreciate the joy of one another’s company, none more important than He who works within us.