Pope writing a letter

Pope's Advice for Lent: Don't Let This Season of Grace Pass in Vain

Francis Prays ‘God helps us set out on a path of true conversion’

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“Let us not allow this season of grace to pass in vain!”
Pope Francis stressed this in his message for Lent 2019  (March 6 to April 18) presented today in the Vatican, by Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, which was titled: “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God” (Rom 8:19)

With this as the basis, the Holy Father divides his message into four sections:
  • “the redemption of creation”
  • “the destructive power of sin”
  • “the healing power of repentance and forgiveness”

The Pope reflected on the importance of fasting, prayer and almsgiving, saying: “Lent is a sacramental sign of this conversion. It invites Christians to embody the paschal mystery more deeply and concretely in their personal, family and social lives, above all by fasting, prayer and almsgiving.”
“Fasting,” he said, refers to “learning to change our attitude towards others and all of creation, turning away from the temptation to “devour” everything to satisfy our voracity and being ready to suffer for love, which can fill the emptiness of our hearts.”
Prayer,” he added, “teaches us to abandon idolatry and the self-sufficiency of our ego, and to acknowledge our need of the Lord and his mercy.”
Almsgiving,” he continued, refers to when “we escape from the insanity of hoarding everything for ourselves in the illusory belief that we can secure a future that does not belong to us.”
In this way, he stressed, we can “rediscover the joy of God’s plan for creation and for each of us, which is to love him, our brothers and sisters, and the entire world, and to find in this love our true happiness.”
In the message, the Pope also expressed his hope that God help us set out on a path of true conversion.
“Let us leave behind our selfishness and self-absorption, and turn to Jesus’ Pasch. Let us stand beside our brothers and sisters in need, sharing our spiritual and material goods with them.”
“In this way, by concretely welcoming Christ’s victory over sin and death into our lives, we will also radiate its transforming power to all of creation.”
Vatican-provided full text of the Pope’s message:  https://zenit.org/articles/popes-message-for-lent-2019/

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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