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Pope’s Lenten retreat: reflections on sin, absence of God

February 22, 2013

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, who is leading the annual Lenten retreat for the Pope and leaders of the Roman Curia, devoted his meditations on February 21 to sin and the absence of God.

Describing sin as “an aberration that distances us from God,” Cardinal Ravasi said that “in biblical spirituality, the classical pair ‘crime and punishment’ [is] transformed into a trio: ‘crime, punishment and forgiveness.’”

While he devoted much of his second meditation to God’s absence in the life of nonbelievers, the prelate said that “the absence of God is felt painfully and disturbingly, even by believers.” Reflecting on Psalm 22, Cardinal Ravasi said that “absence is not God’s last word,” for God “has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; and he has not hid his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.”


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