Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/10/2014 (4 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Pope offers guidance during the Lenten season

"Rend your hearts, not your garments," Pope Francis said in regards to the Lenten season. The pope offered a homily before receiving and distributing ashes at an evening Mass at the Basilica of Santa Sabina. Focusing on a line from the prophet Joel, Pope Francis wished to remind others that Lent is meant to wake up Christians. The season is intended to help the faithful see that God can give them the strength to change their lives and their surroundings.

Conversion, the pope said, starts with recognizing that 'we are creatures, that we are not God.' Too many people today, he said, think they have power and 'play at being God the creator.'

Conversion, the pope said, starts with recognizing that "we are creatures, that we are not God." Too many people today, he said, think they have power and "play at being God the creator."

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/10/2014 (4 months ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Pope francis, Lenten Season, fasting, almsgiving, sacrifice


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - During Ash Wednesday Mass in Rome, Pope Francis said that the Prophet Joel "reminds us that conversion can't be reduced to exterior forms or vague resolutions, but involves and transforms one's entire existence, starting with the center of the person, the conscience."

Conversion, the pope said, starts with recognizing that "we are creatures, that we are not God." Too many people today, he said, think they have power and "play at being God the creator."

Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving 

Christians during Lent are called to use the three elements the Gospel recommends for spiritual growth: prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

"In the face of so many wounds that hurt us and could lead to a hardness of heart, we are called to dive into the sea of prayer, which is the sea of the boundless love of God, in order to experience his tenderness," the Pope said.

Christians at this time are called to think of the needs of others, "interceding before God for the many situations of poverty and suffering" in the world.

In regards to fasting, Pope Francis says that the purpose isn't just to follow the rules for Lenten fasting and abstinence. This could lead to self-satisfaction.

"Fasting makes sense if it really chips away at our security and, as a consequence, benefits someone else, if it helps us cultivate the style of the good Samaritan, who bent down to his brother in need and took care of him," he said.

Fasting should "exercise the heart" in order to recognize what is absolutely essential and to teach one how to share with others. "It is a sign of becoming aware of and taking responsibility for injustice and oppression, especially of the poor and the least, and is a sign of the trust we place in God and his providence."

Almsgiving is a practice that should be common among all Christians, but especially during Lent, he said. Christians give concrete help and attention to those in need, asking nothing in return, as they recognize how much God has given them even though that they were not deserving.

Almsgiving also helps free people from "the obsession of possession, from the fear of losing what they have and from the sadness of not sharing their well-being with others," the Pope said.

Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving

"Lent comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy," the Pope said.

The Ash Wednesday Mass began after a penitential procession from the nearby monastery of St Anselm. To a chanted litany of saints, the Pope walked behind Benedictines from St Anselm, Dominicans from Santa Sabina and cardinals who work in the Vatican.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Living Faith

Why do Catholics love the crucifix so much?

Image of The crucifix is an important part of our Catholic identity.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The crucifix is a quintessentially Catholic icon. Although other Christians fondly and proudly display the cross, it is the crucifix that is largely unique to the Catholics. Why is the symbol of the death of Christ so important to Catholics? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Nuclear weapons still threaten the world

Image of Nuclear weapons still threaten the world.

By Tony Magliano

You are within 30 minutes of being incinerated from nuclear weapons! If you live in or near a large U.S. city or major military installation, you are in harm's way. And when considering that radiation fallout from a nuclear attack would hurt virtually everyone, we are ... continue reading


POPE: 'A man who is alone ends up bitter, not fruitful, and he gossips about others' Watch

Image of The pope told the priests that

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"A man who is alone ends up bitter, not fruitful, and he gossips about others." Those are the words of the Pope, speaking out during a meeting with 123 priests working in the Diocese of Caserta along with 19 bishops from Italy's Campania region this past ... continue reading


UPROOTED: Largest displacement of worldwide religious communities reached last year Watch

Image of In the nation of Central African Republic, widespread lawlessness and violence between Christians and Muslims resulted in at least 700 deaths in Bangui in December -- alone.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The year of 2013 turned out to be a very grim year indeed for religious tolerance and diversity. Millions of Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and others representing a range of faiths were forced from their homes on account of their religious beliefs. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Papal visit to US not confirmed, but archbishop confident

Image of Pope Francis coming to Philly next September!

By Catholic News Agency (News Consortium)

Lets all Pray that Pope Francis comes to visit us here in the United States of America. Philadelphia, PA  (CNA/EWTN) - Reports that Pope Francis will travel to the U.S. for the World Meeting of Families in 2015 remain unconfirmed by the Vatican; however, ... continue reading


Catholic should be a way of life, not just a Sunday thing

Image of Catholic means universal. It's time to apply that to how we live.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

To know the way forward, we must look to the past. As the very first chapter Ecclesiastes tells us, "there is no new thing under the sun," meaning that everything we think of as new is actually old and whatever we can imagine has been imagined, and even tried by those ... continue reading


Let the Holy Spirit Teach us How to Become Prayer Watch

Image of St. Paul wrote to the early Christians in Greece, telling them to pray without ceasing. (1 Th. 5:16-19) They did not live lives of ease, in any sense of the word. They had families, occupations, bills, and yes, difficulties and struggles beyond what many of us could imagine. They also suffered greatly for their faith. Yet, he instructed them to Pray without ceasing. Did he really mean it? I believe that he did.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

When the Spirit dwells in a person, from the moment in which that person has become prayer, he never leaves him. For the Spirit himself never ceases to pray in him. Whether the person is asleep or awake, prayer never from then on departs from his soul. Whether he ... continue reading


Pope Francis meets, blesses Sudanese woman condemned to death for faith Watch

Image of Meriam Ibrahim was sentenced to death for apostasy, but has since escaped her sentence and left Sudan.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has met and blessed the Sudanese woman who was recently condemned to death for her faith. Meriam Ibrahim was condemned to death in Sudan for the crime of apostasy. VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis has met and blessed Meriam Ibrahim at the ... continue reading


MIRACLE IN ENGLAND: God's face smiles over Norfolk, or is it Sean Connery or Karl Marx? Watch

Image of This image is suspected to show the face of God in clouds over Norfolk, however, it may also be the face of Karl Marx or Sean Connery.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The English have long thought themselves special, and a new photograph from Norfolk in England may just prove that God does indeed smile on the English. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Amateur photographer Jeremy Fletcher took an image that shows a face in ... continue reading


Pope Francis to visit Mafia stronghold this weekend Watch

Image of Pope Francis' stance against organized crime is seen as remarkable; the Mafia and the Catholic Church have previously been seen by many as having

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Incensed about the loss of innocent life in his immediate surroundings, Pope Francis plans to travel to the Mafia stronghold of Caserta, near Naples this weekend in an effort to set things right. The murder of three-year-old Nicola "Coco" Campolongo, a boy who ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 15:10, 16-21
10 A disaster for me, mother, that you bore me to be ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 59:2-3, 4, 10-11, 17, 18
2 rescue me from evil-doers, from men of violence ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:44-46
44 'The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 30th, 2014 Image

St. Peter Chrysologus
July 30: St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter