Vatican City, Feb 22, 2012 / 12:10 pm
As he observed Ash Wednesday, Pope Benedict XVI urged Christians to live the 40 days of Lent with faith and patience, aware that God will bring light, truth and joy into the darkness.
“In these 40 days that will lead us to Easter may we find new courage to accept with patience and with faith situations of difficulty, of affliction and trial, knowing that from the darkness the Lord will make a new day dawn,” the Pope said Feb. 22, the first day of Lent.
“And if we are faithful to Jesus and follow him on the way of the Cross, the bright world of God, the world of light, truth and joy will be gifted to us once more.”
The Pope delivered his comments at his weekly general audience, which was held in the Vatican’s Pop Paul VI Hall and was attended by over 7,500 pilgrims.
He explained that in the early Church it was only those preparing to be baptized who would observe the 40 days of Lenten preparation. Subsequently, however, all Christians were invited “to experience this journey of spiritual renewal, to conform themselves and their lives to that of Christ,” including those who had fallen away from the Church.