1. Read Sacred Scripture

Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience. (Message for Lent, 2015)

How many pages of Sacred Scripture are appropriate for meditation during the weeks of Lent to help us rediscover the merciful face of the Father! We can repeat the words of the prophet Micah and make them our own: You, O Lord, are a God who takes away iniquity and pardons sin, who does not hold your anger forever, but are pleased to show mercy. You, Lord, will return to us and have pity on your people. You will trample down our sins and toss them into the depths of the sea (cf. 7:18-19). (Misericordiae Vultus 17)

2. Go to Confession

During the time of Lent, the Church, in the name of God, renews her appeal to repentance. It is the call to change one’s life. (Homily, 28 March 2014)

So many people, including young people, are returning to the Sacrament of Reconciliation; through this experience they are rediscovering a path back to the Lord, living a moment of intense prayer and finding meaning in their lives. (Misericordiae Vultus 17)

Let us place the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the center once more in such a way that it will enable people to touch the grandeur of God’s mercy with their own hands. For every penitent, it will be a source of true interior peace. (Misericordiae Vultus 17)

3. Participate in the works of mercy

For all of us, then, the season of Lent in this Jubilee Year is a favorable time to overcome our existential alienation by listening to God’s word and by practicing the works of mercy. (Message for Lent, 2016)

In the corporal works of mercy, we touch the flesh of Christ in our brothers and sisters who need to be fed, clothed, sheltered, visited; in the spiritual works of mercy – council, instruction, forgiveness, admonishment and prayer – we touch more directly our own sinfulness. (Message for Lent, 2016)

May this Lenten season find the whole Church ready to bear witness to all those who live in material, moral and spiritual destitution the Gospel message of the merciful love of God our Father, who is ready to embrace everyone in Christ. We can do this to the extent that we imitate Christ who became poor and enriched us by his poverty. (Message for Lent, 2014)

We are invited to embark upon a journey on which, by defying routine, we strive to open our eyes and ears, but especially to open our hearts, in order to go beyond our own “backyard”. (Homily, 5 March 2014)

4. Abandon what keeps you from running to the Lord

We all need to improve, to change for the better. Lent helps us and thus we leave behind old habits and the lazy addiction to the evil that deceives and ensnares us. (General Audience, 5 March 2014)

Dear brothers and sisters, the time of Lent is a propitious occasion for us all to make a journey of conversion, by sincerely allowing ourselves to be confronted with this passage of the Gospel. Let us renew the promises of our Baptism: let us renounce Satan and all his works and seductions — for he is a seducer — in order to follow the path of God and arrive at Easter in the joy of the Spirit. (Angelus, 9 March 2014)

5. Pray for the Lord’s help

We, too, have many questions to ask, but we don’t have the courage to ask Jesus! Lent, dear brothers and sisters, is the opportune time to look within ourselves, to understand our truest spiritual needs, and to ask the Lord’s help in prayer. (Angelus, 23 March 2014)

The exhortation which the Lord addresses to us through the prophet Joel is strong and clear: “Return to me with all your heart” (Jl 2:12). Why must we return to God? Because something is not right in us, not right in society, in the Church and we need to change, to give it a new direction. (Homily, 5 March 2014)

During this Lent, then, brothers and sisters, let us all ask the Lord: “Fac cor nostrum secundum cor tuum”: Make our hearts like yours (Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus). In this way we will receive a heart which is firm and merciful, attentive and generous, a heart which is not closed, indifferent or prey to the globalization of indifference. (Message for Lent, 2015)

6. Deepen your personal conversion

Let us give thanks to God for the mystery of his crucified love; authentic faith, conversion and openness of heart to the brethren: these are the essential elements for living the season of Lent. (General Audience, 5 March 2014)

Let us not waste this season of Lent, so favorable a time for conversion! (Message for Lent, 2016)

With its invitations to conversion, Lent comes providentially to awaken us, to rouse us from torpor, from the risk of moving forward by inertia. (Homily, 5 March 2014)

Lent prepares us for this most important moment; therefore, it is a “powerful” season, a turning point that can foster change and conversion in each of us. (General Audience, 5 March 2014)

7. Let the Lord love you

Lent is a favorable time for letting Christ serve us so that we in turn may become more like him. This happens whenever we hear the word of God and receive the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. There we become what we receive: the Body of Christ. In this body there is no room for the indifference which so often seems to possess our hearts. (Message for Lent, 2015)

Lent is a time of renewal for the whole Church, for each community and every believer. Above all it is a “time of grace” (2 Cor 6:2). God does not ask of us anything that he himself has not first given us. “We love because he first has loved us” (1 Jn 4:19). (Message for Lent, 2015)

8. Observe the Year of Mercy

The season of Lent during this Jubilee Year should also be lived more intensely as a privileged moment to celebrate and experience God’s mercy. (Misericordiae Vultus 17)

A merciful heart does not mean a weak heart. Anyone who wishes to be merciful must have a strong and steadfast heart, closed to the tempter but open to God. A heart which lets itself be pierced by the Spirit so as to bring love along the roads that lead to our brothers and sisters. And, ultimately, a poor heart, one which realizes its own poverty and gives itself freely for others. (Message for Lent, 2015)

9. Love your neighbor

Lent is a favourable time to convert to the love of God and neighbour; a love that knows how to make its own the Lord’s attitude of gratuitousness and mercy — who “became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich” (cf. 2 Cor 8:9). (General Audience, 5 March 2014)

Lent is to be lived as a time of conversion, as a time of renewal for individuals and communities, by drawing close to God and by trustfully adhering to the Gospel. In this way, it also allows us to look with new eyes at our brothers and sisters and their needs. (General Audience, 5 March 2014)

10. Humble yourself

Lent is a fitting time for self-denial; we would do well to ask ourselves what we can give up in order to help and enrich others by our own poverty. Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real without this dimension of penance. (Message for Lent, 2014)

Lent beacons us to “rouse ourselves”, to remind ourselves that we are creatures, simply put, that we are not God. (Homily, 5 March 2014)

Lent comes to make its prophetic appeal, to remind us that it is possible to create something new within ourselves and around us, simply because God is faithful, always faithful, for he cannot deny himself, he continues to be rich in goodness and mercy, and he is always ready to forgive and start afresh. With this filial confidence, let us set out on the journey! (Homily 5 March 2014)


 

 

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