Catholic Husband

Love / Lead / Serve

Noticing Progress

It’s hard to notice progress in our personal growth. We’re so intimately familiar with ourselves that small changes are imperceptible. Even the markers that we mentally track can be deceiving.

In our relationships, we tend to have conflicts around the same themes. Those areas where there are disagreements between spouses seldom change. However, in time, the friction can fade away with work and love, as you both learn to accept each other for who you are.

In the spiritual life, the same is true. Think back on your last three Confessions. The themes, if not the specific sins, were likely the same. Maybe it’s been that way for years. It’s not that you’re not making progress; it’s that those are the areas in which you are weakest. That’s where your version of concupiscence, our natural inclination to sin, plays out. Your holiness is the work of a lifetime; acceptance and a refusal to quit is enough progress.

This blog is nearing nine years of work. I started to look back at my first posts last week, and I had to blush. The writing was rough, choppy, and lacked subtlety. There were fragments, grammatical errors, and a lack of polish. I can distinguish between the quality and style of those first posts and those that I publish today.

In between the first post and this one, #858, was slow, steady imperceptible progress.

We tend not to give ourselves credit for the tiny steps forward we take each day. Yet, taking a moment to step back and pan out reveals the actual trajectory of our progress. That’s something worth appreciating.