Lent: A Season of Penance and Conversion

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
22 Feb 2010

A packed crowd of pilgrims prayed the Angelus with Benedict XVI on February 21st, the first Sunday of Lent 2010. Referring to this Sunday's reading from the Gospel according to St. Luke, which tells of the temptations of Satan that Jesus endured in the desert, the Holy Father reminded the world that Christ came to free us from sin and the ambiguous fascination of the pretense that we can plan our lives without God.

The Pope said that we can make the world better starting with ourselves by changing, with the grace of God, what is wrong with our lives. He concluded, saying: "Lent is like a long retreat during which we can collect ourselves and listen to the voice of God, overcome the temptations of the evil one and find the truth of our being. A season of spiritual struggle to be lived together with Jesus, not with pride and conceit, but using the weapons of faith, prayer, attention to the Word of God and penance." In this way, said Benedict XVI, "We shall come to celebrate Easter in truth, ready to renew the promises of our baptism. May the Virgin Mary help us live with joy and fruitfulness this time of grace, guided by the Holy Spirit."