Pope Benedict’s Lenten Message for 2008 was presented today in the Holy See Press Office. The theme for this years’ message, “Christ made Himself poor for you”, reflects on the importance and meaning of almsgiving.
Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council, “Cor Unum”, began by affirming that the Pope’s message presents “reflections on alms and fundraising.” He also noted that, alongside Christmas, “the period leading up to Easter is also traditionally dedicated in many countries to special fundraising campaigns.”
The Holy Father "wishes to highlight, on the basis of the faith, the implications giving has for the spirit of the donor.” Using the words and stories of the Gospel, Benedict XVI “places the gift of the donor in the light of revelation,” Cardinal Cordes said.
“The Pope shows - above all to practicing Christians - the indissoluble bond between piety and caring for the needy.” The Holy Father also “speaks of the intentions of the donor. At a time in which such great honor is paid to benefactors it is certainly appropriate to call attention to the spirit of a benefactor's gesture, which is not to look to the glorification of self but to the glorification of the Father who is in heaven. The love of God is at the root of all good actions accomplished by man.”
Cardinal Cordes also noted how the Holy Father comments on the Biblical episode of the widow who gave everything she had to the Church. “The value of our gifts is measured not on the basis of the amount stamped on the coins. Before God it is only the hand of the donor that determines the importance of a gift. Its value depends on the ... thoughts and intentions that have caused the person to give.”