Rome, Italy, Mar 6, 2019 / 09:59 am
Fasting from food or other things during Lent is a chance for Catholics to reorient their material attachments, Pope Francis said on Ash Wednesday, as he urged people to slow down and turn to Christ during the penitential season.
"Jesus on the wood of the cross burns with love, and calls us to a life that is passionate for him, which is not lost amid the ashes of the world; to a life that burns with charity and is not extinguished in mediocrity," the pope said during Mass March 6.
"Is it difficult to live as he asks? Yes, it is difficult, but it leads us to our goal," he continued. "Lent shows us this. It begins with the ashes, but eventually leads us to the fire of Easter night; to the discovery that, in the tomb, the body of Jesus does not turn to ashes, but rises gloriously."
Quoting the day's first reading from the prophet Joel – "Blow the trumpet … sanctify a fast" – Francis called the piercing blast of a trumpet "a loud sound that seeks to slow down our life."