By OSV staff - OSV Newsweekly, 2/19/2012
As hard as it is to believe, Lent is nearly upon us. It seems like just yesterday that we rang in the new year.
As Catholics prepare to enter into the season of prayer, almsgiving and fasting on Feb. 22, Pope Benedict XVI offered a reflection, presented Feb. 7, on the need for the faithful to be concerned for one another and do good works, based on a passage from Hebrews: “Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works” (10:24).
Such concern encompasses not only physical needs, but spiritual and moral well-being as well, the pope wrote.
“Here I would like to mention an aspect of the Christian life, which I believe has been quite forgotten: fraternal correction in view of eternal salvation. Today, in general, we are very sensitive to the idea of charity and caring about the physical and material well-being of others, but almost completely silent about our spiritual responsibility towards our brothers and sisters. This was not the case in the early Church. ... The Church’s tradition has included ‘admonishing sinners’ among the spiritual works of mercy. It is important to recover this dimension of Christian charity. We must not remain silent before evil. I am thinking of all those Christians who, out of human regard or purely personal convenience, adapt to the prevailing mentality, rather than warning their brothers and sisters against ways of thinking and acting that are contrary to the truth and that do not follow the path of goodness. ... It is a great service, then, to help others and allow them to help us, so that we can be open to the whole truth about ourselves, improve our lives and walk more uprightly in the Lord’s ways.”
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