Let’s ask ourselves a tough question today: am I a better Christian now than I was a year ago? Am I holier? Am I more like Christ? Am I really becoming the saint that God created me to be? It’s uncomfortable to ask questions like that. That’s good. Lent is a time for us to feel uncomfortable. Jesus loves us too much to let us be lazy. He is like a good coach, always encouraging us to grow, to improve. Unfortunately, many of us aren’t growing as quickly or as constantly as we should. Professionally we are moving up, maybe. Academically, athletically we are making progress, but as Christians? Not really. We’re still stuck where we have always been. On a plateau. The same temptations, the same falls, the same sins. We’re still mediocre Christians. One of the reasons for this is that we don’t go to the real roots of our selfishness. We try to follow Christ more faithfully, but we don’t do so intelligently. We keep trying to cut off the branches of impatience, or greed, or lust, or dishonesty, but the roots are still intact, so the branches just keep growing back. In Jesus’ temptation in the desert, the devil makes the mistake of exposing the three roots of all our sins. In each one of us, one of these roots is bigger and stronger than the others (though we all have all three). If we can identify which is our main root sin, we can direct our spiritual work more intelligently, and really start making progress as Christians.