2009-02-03 11:37:56

Pope Benedict Releases 2009 Lenten Message

(03 Feb 09 - RV) Pope Benedict XVI today released his 2009 Lenten Message. We have this report...

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.

Pope 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.

The 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. RealAudioMP3

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