There is one thing that every one of us needs to focus upon and crush this Lent with no mercy.
What is it? Your predominant fault. “My what?”
You heard me…or rather you heard one of the greatest spiritual theologians of the 20th century, Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.
What in the world is a predominant fault?
Well, even in a state of grace, each of us possesses a particular fault that is stronger than the rest. It could be lack of patience, fierce anger, deadly lust, admiration of skinny jeans…the list goes on.
Regardless of its identity, the predominant fault is a stone cold killer of the spiritual life.
Here’s how it works.
Grace in the soul tends to start by perfecting what is good in us. For example, if you’re already patient, grace can even help you charitably endure a 3 hour long elementary school Christmas concert.
From there, says Fr. Lagrange, grace radiates out to what is, shall we say, “less good,” in us. In other words, it starts to work more on our natural weaknesses and faults.
Our predominant fault, however, acts as a major obstacle to that pattern of purification. It attacks the work of grace in a similar manner to that of weeds seeking to take over a manicured lawn.
We’ve all seen it happen…even to ourselves.
You spent the entire summer cultivating the best-looking grass on the block and in mere days one dandelion seed from your neighbor’s “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” yard destroyed it all.
Suddenly you’re swimming in a sea of yellow.
All that time spent in the sweltering company of a Garden Weasel is rendered nil and dandelion “bouquets” begin appearing on your dining room table, courtesy of your children.
Of course, it’s not all your neighbor’s fault. The Devil is the real anti-gardener.
As Christ says in the Parable of the Sower, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away” (Mt 13:24-25).
And then the Evil One continues to come round like a disgruntled Chem-lawn guy, fertilizing the weeds so they can strangle and destroy the good plants.
And the weed that grows fastest is our predominant fault.
But while it’s incredibly deadly to the life of grace, few of us have actually identified our personal predominant fault (though we can easily identify it in others. Hmmm…)
Ironically, it’s often easier for earnest beginners in the spiritual life to name their main fault than those more advanced in the ways of God.
Those a little further along in the spiritual journey are often quite adept at covering their faults with the facade of virtue. (“I’m not impatient! I just admire punctuality!” or “I’m not angry, just righteously indignant!”)
So with Lent fast approaching, it would be a good time to identify and set up a plan to crush our predominant fault. It’s the perfect time to do so.
And if you’re wondering how to identify your predominant fault and exactly how to crush it, don’t worry.
In my next blog post, I’ll give you 6 ways to identify your predominant fault, as well as the three keys to crush it.
P.S. If you haven’t yet signed up for the FREE Lenten streaming of Catholic Mysticism & the Beautiful Life of Grace, what are you waiting for? It’s FREE! Join thousands of Catholics from all over the world and be transformed this Lent! CHECK IT OUT HERE!