In his Lenten message for 2012, Pope Benedict XVI encourages the faithful to focus on charity, concern for others and personal holiness.
The Holy Father offers his thoughts on the Bible passage from Hebrews: “Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works” (Heb 10:24).
He notes that concern for others means recognising our brothers and sisters as ‘infinitely loved by the Lord’. This encourages solidarity, justice, mercy and compassion, and involves being aware of the spiritual well-being of the other, for their good.
Our response during Lent involves acts of charity, service and good works. All of these are part of the call to holiness which calls us not to be lukewarm, but to imitate the examples of the saints – with a special care for the poorest of the poor, and the courage to speak the truth with love.
The Holy Father also affirms that good will prevail in uncertain times:
“Contemporary culture seems to have lost the sense of good and evil, yet there is a real need to reaffirm that good does exist and will prevail, because God is ‘generous and acts generously’ (Ps 119:68). The good is whatever gives, protects and promotes life, brotherhood and communion.”
Lent this year begins on 22 February 2012 – Ash Wednesday.
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