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Pope sees Lent as time for spiritual combat

CWN - February 22, 2010

At his Angelus audience on February 21, the first Sunday in Lent, Pope Benedict XVI likened the season of Lent to a "long retreat," a period of spiritual combat. Commenting on the day's Gospel, which recounted Christ's temptation in the desert, the Pope remarked that Jesus taught not merely by example but by actions, "by struggling personally with the Tempter, all the way to the Cross." The message for the faithful, the Pope said, is "that the world is improved by beginning with ourselves, by changing, with God's grace, what is wrong with our lives."

At the conclusion of his remarks, the Pope asked the crowd in St. Peter's Square to pray for the success of the annual Lenten Retreat at the Vatican, which would begin that evening. The Pope and the leaders of the Roman Curia will set aside their regular work for the week-long spiritual exercises.

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