Pope Francisc proposes fasting from “all that weighs us down—like consumerism or an excess of information, whether true or false.”
He also invites Catholics to fast from their cares and worries, and to substitute them with “words of comfort, strength, consolation and encouragement” instead of words that demean and sadden.
He says it in his Lenten message, which was presented at the Vatican.
CARD. PETER TURKSON
Prefect, Dicastery for Human Development
“It's an invitation to recognize and to have faith in Jesus, in self-emptiness and self-denial, to be able to share God's love with us.”
The message proposes going to confession during Lent and living out this season with hope, despite the pandemic.
Every year, during the presentation of the pope's message for Lent, the Vatican offers an example for Catholics to follow.
This time, a representative of Aid to the Church in Need presented an 11-year-old girl's drawing of Aleppo, Syria. It was a sketch of the torture she imagined her family would have endured had the military not protected them from fundamentalists.
Aid to the Church in Need (ACN)
“This 'family portrait,' ladies and gentlemen, was drawn only 2,200 km from Rome, the same distance by car to the south of Spain. That is how close Aleppo is to Rome.”
Marcela Szymanski proposed a more serious approach to the Christian life, noting that still today, Christians are killed for refusing to deny the faith, and that they are more common than one might think.