Disconnect from TV, smart phones and connect to the Gospel in Lent

Lent is a time to turn off the television and open the Bible.  It is a time for us to imitate Jesus and seek a place of silence, where we are free to hear the Lord’s word and experience His call. It is the time to give up useless words, chatter, rumors, gossip, and talk directly to the Lord and dedicate ourselves to ecology of the heart. In a world in which we often struggle to distinguish the voice of the Lord, Jesus calls us into the desert and invites us to listen to what matters. The desert of Lent leads us to a journey of charity towards those who are weak and in need.

Meekness unites us, anger drives us apart

Anyone can seem meek when all is calm, but how do we react when ‘under pressure’ or are attacked, offended, or assaulted? Meekness unites; anger divides. The meek are not pushovers; a person who is meek is able to win over hearts and save friendships. Scriptures use the term “meek” for the poor and those without land. So Jesus’ statement that the meek will inherit the earth would seem contradictory. It is the Promised Land.  That land is a promise and a gift for the people of God, and becomes a sign of something much greater than a piece of ground.

‘Worship of initiatives’ is replacing faith

Pope Francis criticized placing so much importance on Church programs that the essential teachings of the faith are lost. A priest’s agreement with such initiatives should not be the measure of his ministry.  The worship of initiatives is replacing the essential: one faith, one baptism, one God the Father of all. Adherence to initiatives risks becoming the yardstick of communion. Today there seems to be a general atmosphere of widespread mediocrity and the fact remains that much bitterness is rooted in submission to relationships.

Confession purifies hearts

We can receive God’s forgiveness in the sacrament of Penance because there the fire of God’s love consumes the ashes of our sin. The embrace of the Father in confession renews us inside and purifies our heart. Only Jesus, who knows and loves our heart can heal it. Before confession we should stand in front of the Crucifix and contemplate Christ on the cross. It is a time of grace to welcome God’s loving gaze and then to change one’s life. If we live only to earn money, to have a good time, to gain a bit of prestige or a promotion in work, we are living for dust. We are worth so much more, for we are meant to make God’s dream a reality and to love.

 War should never be considered normal

War is madness; War can never be mistaken for normality or accepted as an inescapable way to regulate divergences and opposing interests. The international community has been content with military interventions, whereas it should have built institutions that can guarantee equal opportunities and enable citizens to assume their responsibility for the common good. There is serious sin of hypocrisy committed by many countries, which at international conferences and meetings talk about peace and then sell weapons to countries that are at war.

 Pope Francis says…

  • A meek Christian is not weak, but defends his faith and controls his temper.
  • This is the revolution of Jesus, the greatest revolution in history: from hating our enemy to loving our enemy.
  • Jesus, with His limitless love, raises the bar of our humanity.
  • The preaching of the Gospel cannot be detached from commitment to the common good; it impels us to act tirelessly as peacemakers.
  • The only kind of “Christian extremism” is “the extremism of love.

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