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    » 02/21/2007, 00.00

    VATICAN

    Pope: Lent, a time to become Christian again



    Ash Wednesday was at the heart of the reflections of Benedict XVI who made a call for the “rediscovery of Baptism”, to live Lent as a “renewed catechumenate” to learn to “seek God” as Mother Teresa did, who used to say “my all in all”.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Lent, which starts today, Ash Wednesday, is an “opportunity to become Christian again”, to “rediscover our baptism”, which “often is not very efficient in our daily life”. Ash Wednesday, “a particular day, characterized by an intense spirit of meditation and reflection” was the theme tackled by Benedict XVI today when he addressed the faithful who took part in the general audience. The event was once again held in two parts, first in the Basilica of St Peter and then in Paul VI Hall to accommodate the number of people present: around 7,000 in the hall and 3,000 in the basilica.

    Speaking during the general audience, Benedict XVI said that Ash Wednesday, which he will celebrate this afternoon in the Roman basilica of Santa Sabina, introduces the period of the 40 days separating it from Easter “a time of listening to the Word, prayer and penitence: days in which to revive the stages of salvation”.

    The pope recalled that in the early Church, Lent was a “time of immediate preparation for Baptism, to be administered during the Easter vigil” as an invitation to “rediscover” and to give new strength to baptism. Today it has become a “renewed catechumenate to renew our baptism in depth”, “an occasion to become Christians again”.

    A time of conversion, then, because “conversion is never made forever”, rather it is a “journey” which “cannot be limited to a particular time, it must embrace the entire span of our existence, every day of our life.” Converting, in the words of the pope, means “seeking God”, “going with God”, “humbly following the teachings of his son Jesus”: “It is not an effort to realize ourselves”, because “the human being is not architect of himself, we did make ourselves.” “Conversion consists precisely in not thinking that we are our own creators, and thus discovering the truth, accepting with love to depend in everything on love from God” because “depending on this love is not dependence but freedom”. “It is no use pursing our personal success, which is something that passes”. Rather, for the Christian, Christ must become “my all in all”, said the pope, citing as phrase of Mother Teresa.

    In Lent, then, we are ever more stimulated to “tear out” the roots of vanity, to “educate our heart to love God”. The sincere desire for God “leads us to reject evil and to do good, which is above all a free gift of God”, “our true happiness”. This is why Lent, “while inviting us to reflect and to pray, also urges us to emphasize penitence, prayer and fasting” and works of charity towards our brothers, “spiritual paths to follow to return to God in response to the continued calls of conversion in today’s liturgy.”

    May the Lenten period, added Benedict XVI, “be for all a renewed experience of the merciful love of God, who on the cross poured out his blood for us. Let us submit ourselves humbly to his teaching to learn how to give, once again, our love to our neighbours in our turn, especially those who are in difficulties.”

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    See also

    15/03/2016 17:26:00 VATICAN
    Pope: Mother Teresa to be proclaimed saint on 4 September, in Rome

    Francis’ decision came in today’s ordinary public consistory for the canonisation of the blessed. The life of the "little sister" devoted to the poorest of the poor went from a shack in a Kolkata slum to a Nobel Peace Prize and global reach of the Missionaries of Charity.



    25/01/2006 Vatican
    Pope: "Deus caritas est", all love comes from God and leads to him

    Benedict XVI's first encyclical stresses that it was God to love first.  When eros is concerned first for the other before oneself it becomes agape.  The service of charity is intrinsic to the nature of the Church, but must be "for all", be able to come "from the heart", be independent of ideologies and not have ulterior motives.  The example of Mother Teresa.



    25/01/2006 VATICAN
    "Deus caritas est": God's eros and agape, medicine for the world


    26/08/2010 VATICAN - INDIA
    Message from Pope: Mother Teresa, an "inestimable gift" for the Church and the world
    The message from Benedict XVI for the centenary of the birth of the Blessed was read this morning by Mgr. Lucas Sirkar during mass celebrated in the chapel of the Motherhouse of the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta.

    25/09/2005 VATICAN
    The Pope's Angelus address: "Imitate Mother Teresa, an example of active and often heroic charity".




    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    Vatican silence over Shanghai’s Mgr Ma Daqin causing confusion and controversy

    Bernardo Cervellera

    For some, Mgr Ma’s blog post praising the Patriotic Association and acknowledging his mistakes is nothing but “dirt”. For others, he chose humiliation for the “sake of his diocese”. Many wonder why the Holy See has remained silent about the article’s content and the bishop’s persecution. Some suspect the Vatican views the episode in positive terms. Yet, the Ma Daqin affair raises a major question. Has Benedict XVI’s Letter to Chinese Catholics (which describes the Patriotic Association as “incompatible with Catholic doctrine”) been abolished? If it has, who did it? A journey of compromises without truth is full of risks.


    CHINA – VATICAN
    Mgr Ma Daqin: the text of his “confession”

    Mons. Taddeo Ma Daqin

    Four years after quitting the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, the bishop of Shanghai “admits” his faults on his blog, praising the organisation that controls the Church. We publish his article, almost in its entirety. Translation by AsiaNews.


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