Monday, March 06, 2006

Angelus Message on 1st Sunday of Lent

Lent a Time to "Struggle Against the Spirit of Evil"

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 5, 2006 ( Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave today before reciting the midday Angelus with people gathered in St. Peter's Square.

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Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Last Wednesday we began Lent and today we celebrate the first Sunday of this liturgical time, which stimulates Christians to commit themselves to a journey of preparation for Easter. The Gospel reminds us today that, after being baptized in the Jordan River, Jesus -- moved by the Holy Spirit that rested on him, revealing that he was the Christ -- went for forty days into the Judean wilderness where he resisted the temptations of Satan (cf. Mark 1:12-13).

Following their teacher and Lord, Christians also enter spiritually in the Lenten wilderness to face with him "the struggle against the spirit of evil." The image of the wilderness is a very eloquent metaphor of the human condition. The book of Exodus narrates the experience of the people of Israel that, after having come out of Egypt, wandered in the Sinai desert during 40 years, before reaching the Promised Land. During this long journey, the Jews experienced all the force and insistence of the tempter that led them to lose confidence in the Lord and to turn back; but, at the same time, thanks to the mediation of Moses, they learned to listen to the voice of the Lord, who was calling them to become his holy people.

Upon meditating this passage of the Bible, we understand that to fulfill our life in freedom it is necessary to surmount the test that freedom itself implies, that is, temptation. Only if liberated from falsehood and sin, can the human person, thanks to the obedience of faith that opens him to truth, find the full meaning of his existence and have peace, love and joy. Precisely for this reason, Lent is a favorable time for a careful revision of life in recollection, prayer and penance. The spiritual exercises, which as is traditional, will take place from this afternoon until next Saturday here, in the Apostolic Palace, will help me and my collaborators of the Roman Curia enter with greater awareness in this characteristic Lenten climate.

Dear brothers and sisters, while I ask you that you support me with your prayers, I assure you of my prayer before the Lord so that, for all Christians, Lent will be an occasion of conversion and of a more courageous impulse to holiness. Let us invoke for this reason the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary.



Blogger Carmel said...

I was at a Lent discussion group last night, and I was trying to discuss a little about it from my point of view, this Angelus message would have been great to read to them.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Saint Peter's helpers said...

That's nice that you've joined a Lenten discussion group. I think it helps that we enter into the spirit of lent. Yes, the Holy Father's messages are very helpful and it's always safe to refer to his teachings.

9:14 PM  

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