If you do experience this break, you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself. Instead, reflect on your promise and why you were unable to keep it. Then begin again
Moving Past a Broken Promise
As human beings, we are constantly learning from our mistakes. James 3:2 says, “We all stumble in many ways.” It may not feel good at the time, but it is essential to our intellectual and spiritual growth. So if you do break your promise, here are some ways to get back on track.
- First and most importantly, accept and take responsibility for your actions. Proverbs 28:13 reminds us that “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” It may also help you to move on if you go to Confession.
- Reflect on what went wrong. When you made the promise, did you set unrealistic expectations for yourself? The point of the tradition is to make a meaningful sacrifice, however, it’s not about setting yourself up for failure. Figure out what happened, and then use the experience to make a promise that you know you will be able to keep.
- Make a new promise. Your new promise shouldn’t be too easy though; your sacrifice still must be genuine. Also, keep in mind that Lent is about changing and living more in the manner that Jesus lived, so vowing to not play video games is less meaningful than spending time with your family when you would usually play video games. For some more suggestions, visit our blog “5 Ways to Honor Lent.”
- Ask for help. As Catholics, we always want to help people, but sometimes we need a little help. If you find that you are having trouble keeping your Lenten promise, there are many people here to help you, including everyone in the Archdiocese of Hartford Catholic school community. All you need to do is reach out.
If you do break your Lenten promise, don’t panic and don’t become overwhelmed with guilt. Instead, turn the failure into a learning experience. Stewing about it won’t help you, but just as in many other life situations, reflecting and moving on toward a better path will.
What are some of the ways you keep yourself on track with your Lenten promise? What have you done if you’ve broken it? Let us know on our social media pages.