“Help!” – the ultimate Lenten discipline

 

Image: Crying toddler. Kimberly Belcher: "Does he also do the self-contradictory but very human: I need help! No, I can do it MYSELF!! *struggles* Help! I always find that one hits me frighteningly close to home." Tim O'Malley: "He does." Kimberly Belcher: "To toddlers everywhere: I feel you, buddy. Hang in there. It doesn't get better but it does get more invisible to other human beings."

Tim O’Malley, with his usual insight and good humor, offers profound insight into Lent at the new and redesigned Church Life Journal. The beginning and end of every Lenten discipline is the same as the beginning and end of many conversations with a toddler: Help!

The self-development myth he names here worries me every year: with the cultural context we live in, how do we know our fasting isn’t actually dieting, that our discipline isn’t the cult of productivity?

We don’t know, but we do remind ourselves to keep asking for help.

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