It would be better to fail, in the sense of recognizing our inabilities rather than succeed in the sense of inflating our egos. This powerlessness reveals our basic need for God. We are absolutely dependent upon Him for everything, the planning as well as the execution of our good intentions. I would like to quote from Fr. Thomas Keating in Reflections on the Unknowable: “When we feel that we are suspended on top of nothing and not grounded anywhere, when we’re confused, have no place to go, and feel that God is far away, that we are separated from God, or even that we are alienated from God, we have been given the dispositions that arise in the dark nights through God’s immense love.” Powerlessness is the greatest power there is because it enables one to simply be more and more a channel of God’s power and love.
If the season of Lent and the programs we line up result in a humbler submission to the action of God’s grace, if we recognize better only God’s strength to accomplish even our smallest good intentions, then we may have come ever so slightly into a deeper relationship with the all-powerful God. With St. Paul we can say “ when I am weak, then I am strong” (2Cor 12:10b).