(03 Feb 09 - RV) Pope Benedict XVI today released his 2009 Lenten Message. We have
A panel of Church officials under the leadership of the President
of the Pontifical Council cor unum, Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes presented the Holy
Father’s 2009 Lenten Message on Tuesday at the Press Office of the Holy See.
Benedict this year chose to focus on the value and meaning of fasting, taking the
scripture account of the Lord Jesus’ 40 days’ fast before his temptation in the desert.
Pope writes that in our own day, fasting seems to have lost something of its spiritual
meaning, and has taken on, in a culture characterized by the search for material well-being,
a therapeutic value for the care of one’s body.
Pope Benedict goes on to
recognize the potential benefits to physical well-being, and continues to clarify
that for believers, fasting is in the first place, a “therapy” to heal all that prevents
them from conformity to the will of God.
Pope Benedict also says fasting
can bring an increase of sensitivity to the plight of those who are forced by circumstance
to go without proper nourishment.
In his message, the Holy Father says
the ultimate goal of fasting is to help each one of us to make the complete gift of
self to God.
Pope Benedict prays that every family and Christian community
use well this time of Lent, in order to cast aside all that distracts the spirit and
grow in whatever nourishes the soul, moving it to love of God and neighbour.