Pope on Ash Wednesday: We put on make-up to think we are better, but we are dust

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In Rome, the Lenten season began with this procession from the Basilica of St. Anselm to the Basilica of Santa Sabina. The uphill journey is meant to symbolize this liturgical season. Due to his ongoing knee problems, Pope Francis was unable to participate.

The Pope went directly to the Basilica of Santa Sabina, where he presided over the Eucharistic celebration.

O God, our Father, grant that the Christian people begin this fast, this path of true conversion, victoriously, so they may fight against the spirit of evil with the weapons of penance.

Pope Francis said human beings exist because of their original relationship with God and others. He added that any sense of self-sufficiency is wrong and that idolatry of oneself locks man up in solitude.

As we humbly bow our heads to receive the ashes, let us bring to our hearts the memory of this truth—that we are the Lord's and we belong to Him.

The Pope invited those present not to fall into the temptation of believing man is superior. He also encouraged the faithful to fight against hypocrisy during Lent. But not the hypocrisy of others, but of our own.

We use makeup to make ourselves believe we are better than we are. We are dust.

Pope Francis invited all Christians to live Lent with almsgiving, prayer and fasting. He defined them as classics that do not need to be updated. The Pope said almsgiving is not a feel-good gesture but rather caressing the tears of the poor, prayer is a sincere dialogue with God and that fasting is not an ornament but living with the heart of what is going on in the world.

After his homily, Pope Francis was the first to receive the blessed ashes. 



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