Loading
Pope Benedict urges wholehearted conversion during Lent
By Alan Holdren
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- All are called by God to return to him with their “whole heart,” said Pope Benedict XVI at a special celebration for Ash Wednesday.

The Pope led a procession across Rome's Aventine Hill for the first day of Lent. The celebration of the liturgy began at the St. Anselm's Church with members of the Benedictine order, cardinals, bishops and priests.

When they reached the singing of the litany of the saints, they began the procession that led them several hundred yards down the street to Dominican Minor Basilica of Saint Sabina. There, the Pope presided over the rest of the Mass.

Through the imposition of the ashes on the first day of Lent, “we undertake to convert our hearts to the horizons of grace,” the Pope said during his homily.

He spoke of Lent not as a time of sadness, but instead as “a precious gift of God and a time of strength and full of significance in the journey of the Church.

“It is the road to the Lord's Passover,” he said.

Pope Benedict explained that the day's readings called for full conversion, “not a superficial and transient conversion, but a spiritual journey that covers in depth the attitudes of conscience and presupposes a sincere act of repentance.”

There is a call for an attitude of genuine conversion, a return to God through the recognition of his holiness, power and majesty, he explained. “And this conversion is possible because God is rich in mercy and love.”

Converting is not only a “human task,” he explained, calling it “the movement of a contrite heart attracted and moved by grace to respond to the merciful love of God who loved us first.”

The Christian witness makes believers into a “living message,” Pope Benedict said, adding that “in many cases we are the only Gospel that people today still read.”

Another reason to live Lent to the fullest is the Christian responsibility “to offer a living witness of faith in a troubled world that needs to return to God, a world which needs conversion,” he said.

The Pope closed with an additional call to Christians to live this time with trust and joy.

Lent, he said, “is a powerful time in the liturgical year, and it is a special time that is given to us to look, with greater commitment, to our conversion, to listen more attentively to the Word of God, a time for prayer and penance – of opening our hearts to the workings of Divine will, for a more generous practice of mortification, thanks to which we can be more attentive to neighbors in need.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
20

Liturgical Calendar

October 20, 2014

Monday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 12:13-21

Gospel
Date
10/20/14
10/19/14
10/18/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 2: 1-10
Gospel:: Lk 12: 13-21

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/20/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 12:13-21

Homily
Date
10/20/14
10/19/14
10/18/14