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    » 02/26/2012, 00.00

    VATICAN

    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 Angelus.

    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 1973, 214-215)".

    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)."

     

     

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    See also

    08/03/2009 VATICAN
    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.

    01/03/2009 VATICAN
    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."

    12/03/2006 VATICAN
    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".



    05/03/2006 VATICAN
    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.



    25/02/2007 VATICAN
    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.



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    The first meeting in centuries between the Pope and the Patriarch of Moscow took place in a relaxed and fraternal atmosphere. Two hours of private talks were followed by the signing of a Joint Declaration. As he thanked Raul Castro, the pope said, "If things continue like this, Cuba will be the capital of unity." Both leaders are committed to defending Christians around the world and support "the foundations of morality, the family and the person".


    VATICAN – CUBA – ORTHODOX
    Francis and Kirill: Orthodox and Catholics united vis-à-vis persecuted Christians and the secularised West



    In the Joint Declaration signed in Havana, the Pope and the Patriarch of Moscow emphasise the world’s evils and the need for Christians to bear witness together. Both stand for the natural marriage of a man and a woman, the right to life, and the need for inter-faith dialogue. Both are saddened by the scandal of division, and jointly appeal for an end to religious persecution, for peace in Ukraine and for unity based on "tangible gestures." The full text of the Declaration follows.


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