Cardinal Aurelio Poli of Buenos Aires invited Catholics during Lent to “have a more tender heart” toward the difficult situations of daily life.
In this way, he said, the faithful will be ready to live the grace and salvation that God gives us in Holy Week.
In his Lenten message, the cardinal said the new liturgical season is a time to draw closer to the paschal mystery of Christ.
During the five Sundays prior to Palm Sunday, he explained, the Lenten liturgy offers a “training in the passage from death to life,” through “personal conversion,” which he defined as “a change of mentality,” a “change of direction.”
“May our mentality that is often so far from the Gospel become the mentality of Christ,” he said. “May lives closed to God and to neighbor be open with docility to the invigorating mercy of God and to the concrete love of others that transforms reality.”
Following the example of his predecessor Cardinal Bergoglio – now Pope Francis – in his Lenten message for 2013, Cardinal Poli also underscored the words of the prophet Joel from the liturgy for Ash Wednesday: “Rend your hearts not your garments.”
To “rend the heart” means to allow Jesus to enter,” he explained.
Highlighting the “revolution of tenderness” launched by the Holy Father, Cardinal Poli said that to “rend the heart” means to make the heart tender.
“Make your hearts tender so that the grace the God of life abundantly grants us will drench you, and you will experience his salvation,” he said. “Make your hearts tender so that you will not be indifferent to the pain or suffering of anyone.”
“Make your hearts tender in order to feel the soft tenderness of the Father upon the past wounds and hurts of humanity; make your hearts tender to experience the joy of love that is given and shared, which never leaves us unsatisfied.”
“Make your hearts tender to joyfully announce in our own flesh the Gospel of abundant Life. This is an exterior sign of an interior reality of conversion and of the grace of God that renews us on each Easter,” he said.