Excerpts for Pope Francis' Message for Lent 2018
"God in his providence offers us each year the season of Lent as a 'sacramental sign of our conversion.'" (Mass Prayer, First Sunday of Lent)
"Lent summons us, and enables us, to come back to the Lord wholeheartedly and in every aspect of our life."
"With this message, I would like again this year to help the entire Church experience this time of grace anew, with joy and in truth. I take my cue from the words of Jesus foretelling . . . a situation in which the community of believers might well find itself: amid great trials, false prophets leading people astray and the love that is the core of the Gospel growing cold in the hearts of many."
"How many of God’s children are mesmerized by momentary pleasures, mistaking them for true happiness, . . . entranced by the dream of wealth, which only makes them slaves to profit and petty interests! How many go through life believing that they are sufficient unto themselves, and end up entrapped by loneliness!"
A COLD HEART
"More than anything else, what destroys charity is greed for money. . . The rejection of God and his peace soon follows. . . All this leads to violence against anyone we think is a threat to our own 'certainties.'”
WHAT ARE WE TO DO?
"Perhaps we see, deep within ourselves and all about us, the signs I have just described. The Church, our Mother and Teacher, along with the often bitter medicine of the truth, offers us in the Lenten season the soothing remedy of prayer, almsgiving and fasting."
THE FIRE OF EASTER
"May the light of Christ rising in glory dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds and enable all of us to relive the experience of the disciples on the way to Emmaus. By listening to God’s word and drawing nourishment from the table of the Eucharist, may our hearts be ever more ardent in faith, hope and love."