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Pope Francis: Lent should ‘shake us from our torpor’

Catholic World News - March 06, 2014

Observing that “we live in an increasingly artificial world” in which “we exclude God from our horizon without even realizing it,” Pope Francis said that the season of Lent calls us “to remember that we are creatures, that we are not God.”

Pope Francis made his remarks during his homily at the Ash Wednesday Mass at the Basilica of St. Sabina in Rome. The Mass was preceded by a penitential procession, led by the Pope, from the Church of Sant'Anselmo all'Aventino, during which the schola chanted the Lenten hymns Audi, Benigne Conditor and Attende, Domine and participants prayed the Litany of the Saints.

In his homily, Pope Francis emphasized prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. “All three involve the need not to be dominated by the appearance of things,” he said; “the appearance of things does not matter-- nor does the value of life depend on the approval of others or on success, but from how much we have inside.”

“Lent comes providentially to rouse us, to shake us from our torpor, from the risk of moving forward by inertia,” he added. “The exhortation that the Lord speaks to us through the prophet Joel is loud and clear: ‘Return to me with all your heart’ (Joel 2:12). Why must we return to God? Because something is wrong in us, in society, in the Church-- and we need to change, to turn things around, to repent!”

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