(PresidentialInsider.com)- In his message for the upcoming Lenten season, Pope Francis called on Catholics to uproot evil from their lives, including the addiction to digital media that he said ‘impoverishes human relationships.”
Lent begins on March 2 with Ash Wednesday. Catholics traditionally mark the 40 days of Lent with prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
For his Lenten message this year, Pope Francis focused on the theme “Let us not grow tired of doing good,” taken from Paul’s letter to the Galatians 6:9-10.
In his message, the pope urged those who observe Lent to ceaselessly fight against the evils that induce them to selfishness and lure them into sin, including an “addiction to the digital media.” He said that Lent is the perfect time to “resist these temptations” and cultivate “a more integral form of human communication,” namely “face-to-face and in-person” and other “authentic encounters.”
The pope said the COVID pandemic has highlighted “our own personal and social fragility” and said his wish for the Lenten season is that people will experience the consolation of faith.
He said faith doesn’t spare believers from experiencing “life’s burdens and tribulations,” but instead gives believers the strength to face them.
He urged Catholics to use the Lenten season to practice charity and reach out to those “who lie wounded along the path of life.” Lent, he said, is a time to reach out to those in need and to visit, not abandon, those who are lonely.
He called on Catholics to practice love for the poor and needy, as well as those “abandoned and rejected” and those “discriminated against and marginalized.”
This year, the pope will resume leading the traditional Ash Wednesday procession that was canceled in 2021 due to the COVID pandemic. The procession on Rome’s Aventine Hill begins at the Benedictine abbey of St. Anselm and ends with a mass at the 5th Century Basilica of Santa Sabina.