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Vatican newspaper offers glimpse into Pope's Lenten Retreat

March 12, 2014

As Pope Francis and the leaders of the Roman Curia continue their week-long Lenten Retreat, L’Osservatore Romano has offered a glimpse of the spiritual exercises, summarizing a meditation offered by the preacher, Msgr. Angelo De Donatis, on March 12.

In his talk Msgr. De Donatis compared the spiritual life with a pomegranate. Holding up a ripe pomegranate to illustrate his point, he said that the interior life has many little seeds. If any one seed seeks to grow beyond its natural size, the entire fruit will explode, he said. Similarly, if a man does not allow God’s will to order his life, he risks self-destruction.

The preacher also spoke about the miracle in which Jesus sent a group of demons into a herd of pigs, which plunged into the sea. The people of the neighborhood, he remarked, seemed more interested in the loss of their pigs than in the healing of the afflicted man. Their preoccupation with economic affairs made them unwilling to accept Christ. The same problem afflicts our age, Msgr. De Donatis observed.

The Lenten Retreat is being conducted this year outside the Vatican, at the Casa del Divin Maestro in Arriccia, about 15 miles south of Rome. The spiritual exercises will end on Friday, March 14.


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