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Rome Reports

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Lent 2017: The Pope proposes to see others as a gift

Pope Francis calls again for the end of indifference towards those who suffer. He does so in this year's Lenten message entitled "The Word is a gift. Other persons are a gift". The Pope recalls the parable of the rich man who despises poor Lazarus. From it he says that "a right relationship with people consists in gratefully recognizing their valueâ? and "each life that we encounter is a gift deserving acceptance, respect and loveâ?.  For Pope Francis the problem of the rich man is not his money, but that he has closed his heart to God, and therefore can not see others as a gift. MSGR. GIAMPIETRO DAL TOSO Secretary, Department for Development "I think the Pope is putting his finger on this fundamental choice: whether life is viewed as an extension of one's self or as an opening of oneself to others... ... ". CHIARA AMIRANTE Founder of the New Horizons Community "For over 20 years now, everyday I see Jesus go among the poor, and I see paralytics that rise, I mean paralytics in the heart, wounded in the heart. I see young people with destroyed hearts, and that these wounds are cured by the One who is love. I believe this is the most beautiful result of receiving the Word and receiving othersâ?. The Vatican invited Chiara Amirante to present the Pope's message. She's an Italian woman who decided to go to the most difficult areas of Rome to help the poor, where she discovered that the greatest poverty was not just material. CHIARA AMIRANTE Founder of the New Horizons Community "When I started going to the street at night, I was a young girl, it was clear that I was afraid, because in any case going to Termini station where there was all kinds of violence, trafficking of all kinds, immigrants who came with many good intentions to find work often ended in organized crime. Obviously there was the fear. But to listen to the cry of another makes you enter on tiptoe in their world and makes you change your attitude, then it moves from fear to the urgency of finding an answer together." She founded "New Horizons", a Catholic community that offers a healing process for the deepest wounds of the soul. They have more than 200 centers of welcome and formation, 30 thousand volunteers and more than half a million people committed to live the Gospel to change the world. JMB