If Lent is an invitation to contemplate the suffering Christ, then it is also a time to contemplate the forgiving Christ, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” And in this Year of Mercy, it would do us well to remember that on the list of spiritual works of mercy, “to forgive offenses willingly,” is No. 5.
Lent is a time of conversion and a time to deepen one’s faith, demonstrating and sharing it through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, Pope Francis said.
As the flames from a bonfire’s logs begin to die down and finally die out, it seems initially that only ashes remain. But closer inspection typically reveals that glowing embers remain alive under the ashes.
A three-part series on the three basic pillars of Lent: almsgiving, fasting and prayer. In honor of the Year of Consecrated Life, each feature will include members of religious communities who are deeply living out these spiritual practices all year long.
“It really is an essential part of Christianity; it’s not optional. It has to do with the most fundamental Christian virtue, which is charity and love of God.” – John Froula, assistant professor of theology at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity