Catholic World News

Lent is a time of spiritual combat, Pope emphasizes

February 23, 2015

Emphasizing that Lent is a time of “spiritual combat against the spirit of evil,” Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel account of the temptation of Jesus during his Sunday Angelus address of February 22.

Through Christ’s victory over Satan’s temptations, “we have all conquered but we must protect this victory in our daily lives,” said the Pope. “Look at what Jesus has done and go with Him. This path of Jesus passes through the desert.”

He added:

The desert is the place where the voice of God and the voice of the tempter can be heard. In the noise, in the confusion, this cannot be done; only superficial voices can be heard. Instead we can go deeper in the desert, where our destiny is truly played out, life or death.

And how do we hear the voice of God? We hear it in his Word. For this reason, it is important to know Scripture, because otherwise we do not know how to respond to the attacks of the evil one. And here I would like to return to my advice of reading the Gospel every day. Read the Gospel every day! Meditate on it for a little while, for ten minutes. The Lenten desert helps us to say no to worldliness, to the “idols.”

Following his Angelus address, a booklet entitled “Guard the Heart” was distributed to those gathered in St. Peter’s Square. The booklet included “the seven sacraments, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the Ten Commandments, the virtues, and works of charity,” the Pope said.

To distribute the booklet, the Vatican enlisted the services of 100 homeless people, who had volunteered for the task. They were recruited by Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, who heads the office of papal charities, and has been working regularly with the homeless of Rome.


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