Pope on Lent: It is not adding sacrifices but seeing where the heart looks

The Pope participated in the St. Peter’s Basilica in the traditional “Ash Wednesday” mass. Although he was limping a bit, he celebrated it with total normality.

The ceremony included the rite of imposition of the ashes.

Remember man that you are dust, and to dust you will return.

The person in charge of imposing the ashes on him was Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of the Basilica of Saint Peter.

Then the Pope imposed them one by one on the cardinals living in Rome.

Lent is not a sum of sacrifices but to discern where the heart is oriented. This is the center of Lent: what guides my heart.

The Pope suggested asking whether the automatic pilot of the heart moves us to love God or to love our own selfishness, such as paralyzing unhealthy memories, fear or victimizing complaint.

He recalled that to return to God you do not have to earn merit but rather let the Lord heal you. An itinerary that begins with confession.

The beginning of the return to God is to recognize oneself in need of Him, in need of mercy, in need of his grace. This is the right way, the way of humility. Do I feel needy or do I feel self-sufficient?

Traditionally, the Pope celebrates Mass on Ash Wednesday in the Basilica of Santa Sabina, on the Aventine Hill in Rome. But this year the pandemic has prevented it.

Therefore, to avoid crowds, in addition to the 32 cardinals, only a hundred pilgrims attended. So in a way the ceremony has been much more familiar than other years.



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