Lent is the liturgical period leading up to Easter. Pope Francis has described it as a journey of return to God, which begins on Ash Wednesday and concludes with the Easter Triduum.
February 17, 2021
Lent is a humble descent both inwards and towards others. It is about realizing that salvation is not an ascent to glory, but a descent in love. It is about becoming little.
Pope Francis has described the 40-day Lenten season as “an exodus from slavery to freedom, corresponding to “the 40 years that God’s people trekked through the desert to return to their homeland” from Egypt.
February 17, 2021
Our journey back to God is blocked by our unhealthy attachments, held back by the seductive snares of our sins, by the false security of money and appearances, by the paralysis of our discontents. To embark on this journey, we have to unmask these illusions.
As for concrete ways to effectively live out this important liturgical season, the Gospel proposes three: almsgiving, prayer and fasting.
March 6, 2019
Almsgiving, prayer and fasting bring us back to the three realities that do not fade away. Prayer reunites us to God; charity, to our neighbor; fasting, to ourselves. God, my neighbor, my life: these are the realities that do not fade away.
But the Pope highlights the importance of the attitude with which Catholics practice these things.
February 26, 2020
The Lord tells us not only to carry out works of charity, to pray and to fast, but also to do these without pretense, duplicity and hypocrisy. Yet how often do we do something only to be recognized, to look good, to satisfy our ego!
A common practice among Catholics is to make some sacrifice for the 40 days of Lent, like giving up sweets. But ultimately, as Pope Francis says, this liturgical season is an opportunity to respond to God’s invitation “to return to him, to rediscover the joy of being loved.”