· Pope Francis' Message for Lent ·
In order to overcome “the globalization of indifference”, we must have a “heart which is firm and merciful, attentive and generous”, which “realizes its own poverty and gives itself freely for others”. Francis wrote this in his Message for Lent, which was published on Tuesday morning, 27 January on the theme: “Make your hearts firm” (Jas 5:8).
In denouncing the “selfish attitude”which makes us indifferent to the suffering of others and which today has a worldly dimension, the Pontiff recalled that the Church “is missionary by her very nature; she is not self-enclosed but sent out to every nation and people”. The Holy Father then called for parishes and communities to be transformed into “islands of mercy in the midst of the sea of indifference!”, avoiding the temptation to take refuge in “universal love that would embrace the whole world, while failing to see the Lazarus sitting before our closed doors”.
In order to be faithful to this mission, the Pope invited us to live the communion of saints in which, he explains, “no one possesses anything alone, but shares everything with others. And since we are united in God, we can do something for those who are far distant, those whom we could never reach on our own”. Francis then urged not to let ourselves be caught up in the “spiral of distress and powerlessness”, triggered by the spread “news reports and troubling images of human suffering”, but which increase our sense of helplessness. In addition to prayer, he suggested that we continue on the path of conversion since, he recalls, the needs of the brethren remind me of “the uncertainty of my own life and my dependence on God and my brothers and sisters”.
St. Peter’s Square
Jan. 18, 2019
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