Repent and believe in the Gospel.
We don't really have much of a sense of repentance any more.
In the time of Jesus, and especially in the Old Testament they knew what it was to repent - to turn their lives around, to stop doing what went against God and to start doing what God told them to do - and they knew the real consequences if they refused to.
We tend to focus on a fanciful Jesus it seems - Oh Jesus loves me - it doesn't really matter what I do or don't do - he will just love me no matter what.
And it's true, that Jesus does love us exactly as we are - but he loves us too much to leave us that way.
We look to the story of the woman caught in adultery, when Jesus teaches us to not judge one another - let he who is without sin cast the first stone - and so everyone walks away - and Jesus tells the woman, has no one condemned you, than neither do I condemn you. And we tend to leave it at that - see Jesus loves me even when I sin, so there is no real reason to stop. And we forget that Jesus then tells the woman - go, and sin no more! He tells her to knock off the sin - to turn her life around, and to live for God.
That's the tough part.
Lent is not about giving up sin for 40 days. It's about turning our lives around and cutting sin out of ourselves like the cancerous tumor that it is - because it will destroy us.
It doesn't matter if we gave up pop or chocolate or cursing for Lent - if we are not praying everyday, we are missing the mark - and no, 'Oh Jesus I really want a Bon Bon' does not count as prayer.
We have to have a desire to change, and we have to make time for that to happen. 5 minutes every day. And if you did 5 last year - go for 10 this year. 5-10 minutes of quiet time - you and Jesus - no kids, no grandkids, no crazy in-laws or texts from your cutie pie - 5-10 minutes of honest to God you and Jesus time.
And as a community - again we have tons of opportunities to get back in touch with Jesus and to turn our lives around. Come to daily Mass once a week. It lasts 17 minutes, so yes, you can fit it in somewhere. 7:30 in the morning - or maybe even 6pm on Monday nights, or 9 am on Saturday morning. Come to Stations of the Cross - go to the women's retreat - or, radical idea here, go to confession - some 27 hours of em in the next 35 days. Get to the box.
No excuses. No whining. Just do it.
Repent - Turn away from Sin - and be faithful to the Gospel. We all need to work and embrace our salvation - don't take it for granted, or we will lose it. God help us all. +