Notable quotations from Pope Benedict XVI and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
The Lenten season offers us once again an opportunity to reflect upon the very heart of Christian life: charity. Lent is a favorable time to renew our journey of faith, both as individuals and as a community, with the help of the word of God and the sacraments.
This year I would like to propose a few thoughts in the light of a brief biblical passage drawn from the Letter to the Hebrews: "Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works.
... God asks us to be "guardians" of our brothers and sister (Gen 4:9), to establish relationships based on mutual consideration and attentiveness to the well-being, the integral well-being of others
The great commandment of love for one another demands that we acknowledge our responsibility towards those who, like ourselves, are creatures and children of God.
... Pope Paul VI stated that the world today is suffering above all from a lack of brotherhood: "Human society is sorely ill. The cause is not so much the depletion of natural resources, nor their monopolistic control by a privileged few; it is rather the weakening of brotherly ties between individuals and nations" (Populorium Progressio, 66).
We should never be incapable of "showing mercy" towards those who suffer. Our hearts should never be so wrapped up in our affairs and problems that they fail to hear the cry of the poor.
Today, in general, we are very sensitive to the idea of charity and caring about the physical and material well-being of others, but almost completely silent about our spiritual responsibility towards our brothers and sisters... Christ Himself commands us to admonish a brother who is committing a sin (cf. Mt 18:15).
In a world which demands of Christians a renewed witness of love and fidelity to the Lord, may all of us feel the urgent need to anticipate one another in charity, service, and good works...
(Source: Message for Lent, dated November 3, 2011)
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