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Self control and caring for others

· Fasting as an instrument and recurring element in many religious traditions ·

"A time ago," writes Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, "a French bishop told me this story. Having been invited to a school during a series of presentations on various religions, he opened his talk with a question to the children: 'What is Lent?'. There rose a murmur in the predominantly French classroom, though there were other ethnicities as well. Finally, a French boy built up the courage to say: "It's the Christian Ramadan!". This story is emblematic of a socio-cultural evolution: the point of reference, in this tired and forgetful Europe, has become foreign and extrinsic; the paragon for deciphering reality is no longer local but alien". From this Ravasi begins to speak about fasting, an aspect "that in the past was a significant component, an almost universal legacy of religious creeds".

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St. Peter’s Square

Nov. 13, 2019

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