Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Pope's Lenten Message

Today the Pope gave spoke on the importance of Lent. In a special way he is urging all of us to take this time to look on the needs of those less fortunate. He said that at this time Christians should "look with fresh eyes at their brothers and their needs." Click here for the whole article.

Make sure you check out Pope Benedict's Lenten message. In it he reflects on Matt 9:36, which describes how Jesus was moved with pity upon looking on the crowds. He urges all of us to be comformed to the gaze of Christ. Here's an excerpt:
"In the face of the terrible challenge of poverty afflicting so much of the world’s population, indifference and self-centered isolation stand in stark contrast to the “gaze” of Christ. Fasting and almsgiving, which, together with prayer, the Church proposes in a special way during the Lenten Season, are suitable means for us to become conformed to this “gaze”. The examples of the saints and the long history of the Church’s missionary activity provide invaluable indications of the most effective ways to support development. Even in this era of global interdependence, it is clear that no economic, social, or political project can replace that gift of self to another through which charity is expressed. Those who act according to the logic of the Gospel live the faith as friendship with God Incarnate and, like Him, bear the burden of the material and spiritual needs of their neighbours. They see it as an inexhaustible mystery, worthy of infinite care and attention. They know that he who does not give God gives too little; as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta frequently observed, the worst poverty is not to know Christ. Therefore, we must help others to find God in the merciful face of Christ. Without this perspective, civilization lacks a solid foundation."

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