» 02/26/2012, 00.00
Pope: Lent, the temptation to remove God from ours lives and the world
Benedict XVI said that Lent means building our lives "not outside" the Lord, "as if He did not exist." The "desert" is the place of man's weakness, but also a place where we experience the presence of God. From tonight the Pope and the Roman Curia begin their Lenten retreat preached by Cardl. Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, Archbishop of Kinshasa.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - " The temptation has always been present in human
history to remove God, to order our lives and the world on our own, relying solely
on our own abilities." The season of Lent is a time when with
"patience" and "humility" we follow "the Lord every
day, learning to build our life not outside of him or as if He did not exist,
but in Him and with Him, because He is the source of true life". Benedict
XVI summed up the meaning of the liturgical season of Lent, now in its first
Sunday, in front of thousands of pilgrims gathered in St Peter's Square for the
Referring to the Sunday Gospel (Mark 1:12-13), which narrates Jesus' period in
the desert, the pope explained that the desert "has different
meanings": " It may indicate the state of abandonment and loneliness,
the "place" of man's weakness where there are no supports and
certainties, where temptation becomes stronger. But it may also indicate a
place of refuge and shelter, as it was for the people of Israel who escaped from slavery in Egypt,
where we can experience the presence of God in a special way. Jesus " remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan"
(Mk 1.13). St. Leo the Great says that "the Lord willingly suffered the
attack of the tempter to defend us with his help and to teach us by his
example" (Tractatus XXXIX, 3 De ieiunio quadragesimae: CCL 138 / A, Turnholti
Continuing to comment on the Gospel, the Pope added: "This is the time of
fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand" (Mk 1.15), He announces that
something new happens in Him: God speaks to man in an unexpected way, with a unique
and concrete closeness, full of love, God becomes incarnate and enters the
world of man to take sin upon himself, to overcome evil and bring man back into
the world of God. But this proclamation is accompanied by a corresponding
request for such a great gift. In fact, Jesus adds: "Repent and believe in
the Gospel" (Mk 1.15), it is an invitation to have faith in God and to
convert our lives each day to his will, directing all our actions and thoughts towards
good. The season of Lent is a time to renew and strengthen our relationship
with God through daily prayer, acts of penance, works of fraternal charity"
Before concluding his reflections, he asked everyone to pray for the week of
spiritual exercises that he and the Roman Curia begin tonight. The preacher
chosen for this year is Card. Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, Archbishop of Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo).
The theme of the meditations will be "The communion of the Christian with
God -" And our fellowship is with the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ
"(1 Jn 1.3)."
Pope: I pray for all women, for their dignity and value
Benedict XVI recalls "International Women's Day," and points to Mother Teresa as an example, together with the many women who work "in obscurity" for the good of humanity. The pontiff asks for prayers for his trips to Africa and the Holy Land. An appeal to include moments of prayer and silence during the season of Lent.
Pope: Belief in angels is part of the Gospel
Benedict XVI reaffirms the importance of prayer to these "messengers of God," and asks also for prayers to them on behalf of himself and the Roman Curia, which today begins its Lenten spiritual exercises. A greeting to Fiat workers from Pomigliano d’Arco, concerned about the fate of their factory. The pope urges civil and political authorities, together with business owners, to work together "at this difficult moment," remembering that "the priority must be given to workers and their families."
Pope: In life's darker moments, listen to Christ, like Mary
Benedict XVI urged worshippers to dedicate time to listening to the Word of God and to listen to him in "the lowly and the poor".
Pope: Lent with Jesus in the desert to fight the spirit of evil
Benedict XVI invited Christians to make use of this time to liberate themselves from the slavery of deceit, and to live in the freedom of truth. From this evening until Saturday next, he will participate in the spiritual exercises for the Roman Curia. He also set a date with European and African youth: Saturday 11 March.
Pope: looking at Christ pierced by our sins as Christ looks at us
Before the start of Lenten exercises, Benedict XVI once again urges the faithful to take part in a Lent of contemplation. By looking straight at Christ’s ribs, we can discover that God is love and understand sin and the “boundless stream” of mercy. The Crucifix is the source from which we can draw the indispensable spiritual energy to build peace and happiness.
Pope tells young people to remember the past, to have courage in the present and hope for the future
The Message for the 32nd World Youth Day was issued today centred on “The ‘great things’ that the Almighty accomplished’.” In her meeting with Elizabeth, Mary becomes a model. The pontiff calls on young people to avoid being couch potatoes, safe and cosy, urges them to rediscover the relationship with seniors. The Church experience is not a flash mob. The future should be experienced in a constructive way, and “the institutions of marriage, consecrated life and priestly mission” should not be devalued.
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