Home - VIS Vatican - Receive VIS - Contact us - Calendar

The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[]

Last 5 news

VISnews in Twitter Go to YouTube

Thursday, February 22, 2007


VATICAN CITY, FEB 22, 2007 (VIS) - At 5 p.m. yesterday, Ash Wednesday, in the basilica of Santa Sabina on Rome's Aventine Hill, the Holy Father presided at a Eucharistic celebration during which the blessing and imposition of the ashes took place.

  In his homily, the Pope pointed out that the day's liturgy "identifies the fundamental dimension of Lent in the conversion of hearts to God. This is the evocative symbol we receive with the traditional imposition of the ashes, .... a rite that holds a dual significance: the first concerns interior transformation, conversion and penance; the second recalls the precarious nature of the human condition."

  In the Gospel reading, Pope Benedict continued, "Jesus indicates the instruments to be used to carry out an authentic interior and community renewal." They are "works of charity (almsgiving), prayer and penance (fasting). ... These exterior gestures must be carried out to please God and not to obtain approval or consensus from man; and they are good in His eyes if they express the determination of the heart to serve only Him with simplicity and generosity."

  "The fast, to which the Church invites us at this significant time," he went on, "certainly does not arise from physical or aesthetic considerations, rather it springs from man's need for an interior purification to detoxify him from the pollution of sin and evil, educate him to those beneficial sacrifices that free the believer from the slavery of his own self, and make him more attentive and open to listening to God and to serving his brothers and sisters.

  "For this reason," the Holy Father added, "fasting and other Lenten practices are considered by Christian tradition as spiritual 'arms' to combat evil, the negative passions and vices."

  The Pope recalled that in his Lenten message this year he had "invited people to live these 40 days of special grace as a 'Eucharistic' time." In the Eucharist, he went on, "all Christians can continue the journey that we solemnly begin today. Works of charity (almsgiving), prayer and fasting, together with all other sincere efforts of conversion, find their highest significance and value in the Eucharist, source and summit of the life of the Church and the history of salvation."
HML/LENT/SANTA SABINA                    VIS 20070222 (380)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service