BY SCO Admin | January 28 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

4-POPE-ON-SLAVERY

Give up indifference for Lent, says Holy Father

Pope Francis uses Lenten message to ask Christians to confront the ‘globalisation of indifference’

Pope Francis has used his Lenten message to speak out against a global ‘selfish attitude of indifference.’ The Pope’s message for Lent was released ahead of Ash Wednesday, which takes place this year on February 18. In his address, the Holy Father says that when we are healthy and comfortable, we forget about others.

“We are unconcerned with their problems, their sufferings and the injustices they endure,” he said. “Our heart grows cold. As long as I am relatively healthy and comfortable, I don’t think about those less well off. Today, this selfish attitude of indifference has taken on global proportions, to the extent that we can speak of a globalisation of indifference. It is a problem which we, as Christians, need to confront. Indifference to our neighbour and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians.”

The Pope said that the gate between heaven and earth is opened by the Son of God, and that the Church is the hand holding open the gate. God’s people, the Holy Father said, need an interior renewal, ‘lest we become indifferent and withdraw into ourselves.’

The Pope went on to reflect on three biblical texts: ‘If one member suffers, all suffer together’ (1 Cor 12:26), ‘Where is your brother?’ (Gen 4:9), ‘Make your hearts firm!’ (James 5:8). The first he discussed in reference to the Church, the second to parishes and communities and the third to individual Christians.

The Pope concluded by referencing the words of his predecessor. “As a way of overcoming indifference and our pretensions to self-sufficiency, I would invite everyone to live this Lent as an opportunity for engaging in what Benedict XVI called a formation of the heart (cf Deus Caritas Est, 31),” he said. “A merciful heart does not mean a weak heart. Anyone who wishes to be merciful must have a strong and steadfast heart, closed to the tempter but open to God.

“A heart which lets itself be pierced by the Spirit so as to bring love along the roads that lead to our brothers and sisters. And, ultimately, a poor heart, one which realises its own poverty and gives itself freely for others.

“During this Lent, then, brothers and sisters, let us all ask the Lord: ‘Fac cor nostrum secundum cor tuum’: Make our hearts like yours (Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus). In this way we will receive a heart which is firm and merciful, attentive and generous, a heart which is not closed, indifferent or prey to the globalisation of indifference.”

Pope Francis’ full Lenten Message can be found at: www.news.va/en/news/pope-warns-of-globalization-of-indifference-in-len

—daniel@sconews.co.uk

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