The Cardinal’s Column, Catholic New World: Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Pope Francis, in his Lenten Message for 2014, writes about Gospel poverty. Poverty, he explains is a way of being one with Christ, who “became poor, so that by his poverty we might become rich.” Poverty, the pope writes, is Christ’s “way of loving us, his way of being our neighbor, just as the Good Samaritan was neighbor to the man left half dead by the side of the road. What gives us true freedom, true salvation and true happiness is the compassion, tenderness and solidarity of his love.”
The pope’s message distinguishes Gospel poverty from material, moral and spiritual destitution. The antidote to each of these evils is found in living within the embrace of the merciful love of God. Lent is a time to open our lives to that embrace, to become deliberately poor and self-sacrificing in order to create space for God to transform our lives. Lent is a time for us to enter a season of renewal by taking stock of our lives, preparing for the Sacrament of Penance, and professing our faith at the Easter Vigil. Full column is here.