Contributors Learning to love like him

If your Lent didn’t go as planned, praise God

Joshua Ruoff is the lead consultant for the archdiocesan special-needs ministry. He can be reached by email at:

by Joshua Ruoff

Do you begin your Lent setting expectations?

If our Lenten journey went how we expected, every Sunday we would pray “My will be done.” 

Lent is the time of year when we give up our favorite food, chocolate or social media, and we pray one more Our Father every day hoping to have some life-changing “God experience.”

Do we also consider that we are supposed to draw close to Jesus in his 40-day journey in the desert and his passion and crucifixion on Calvary where he was submitting himself completely to the will of the Father?

If your Lent didn’t go as planned, praise God because his will for our life is prevailing. He is calling us to submit ourselves to him and to trust him. This doesn’t apply just during Lent. This should be our focus every day of our lives.

As I started my position as the lead consultant for special needs for the archdiocese last August, I found myself struggling to make this my focus. I felt obligated to make things how I wanted them or how others expected.

It didn’t take long for God to quickly stop me and remind me that I am not in charge. Some people that God placed in my life suggested I pray something called the “surrender novena.” A novena is normally a nine-day prayer; I just start over at the beginning after the ninth day. Taking time to do this is a great reminder of who is in control of your day and your life.

As we come to the end of our Lenten journey, things for the office of special needs are about to get busy. In June, we will have the opportunity for special- needs family camp at Prairie Star Ranch.

In July, we will be offering a special- needs Totus Tuus. We are so excited to have the opportunity to grow in our faith through these opportunities.

If you would like to also experience this as a participating family at family camp, or if you have a loved one with special needs who you would like to have involved at Totus Tuus, or if you want to volunteer and have the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Christ, contact me at (913)647-3054 or by email at: or visit our website at:

“You are sleepless; you want to judge everything, direct everything and see to everything, and you surrender to human strength, or worse — to men themselves, trusting in their intervention — this is what hinders my words and my views. Oh how much I wish from you this surrender, to help you and how I suffer when I see you so agitated! Satan tries to do exactly this: to agitate you and to remove you from my protection and to throw you into the jaws of human initiative. So, trust only in me, rest in me, surrender to me in everything.” (Day 6 of the Novena of Surrender to the Will of God by Father Don Dolindo Ruotolo)

About the author

Joshua Ruoff

Leave a Comment