Click here for the Message of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for Lent 2011
Click here for Vatican Radio Interview with Fr. Robert Ombres OP
“Today, with the austere symbol of the ashes, we enter the period of Lent, beginning a spiritual journey which prepares for a worthy celebration of the Paschal mysteries. The ashes … are a sign reminding us of our status as created beings and inviting us to penance, to intensify our commitment to conversion so as to continue following the Lord”
In Church tradition the period of Lent is characterised by practices such as fasting, almsgiving and prayer, said Pope Benedict, explaining how fasting “means abstaining from food, but it also includes other forms of privation for a more abstemious life”. It “is closely linked to almsgiving … which under the one name of ‘mercy’ embraces many good works”. Moreover, during this period the Church “invites us to a more trusting and intense prayer, and to prolonged meditation on the Word of God”.
“On this Lenten journey”, the Pope concluded, “let us be attentive to welcoming Christ’s invitation to follow Him more decisively and coherently, renewing the grace and commitments of our Baptism, so as to abandon the old man who is in us and clothe ourselves in Christ, thus reaching Easter renewed and being able to say with St. Paul ‘it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me'”.
(see also Archbishop Dolan on Roman Catholic Identity)