Lent is coming early this year and will be upon us before we know it.  Pope Francis has already written his message for Lent 2016 titled “‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice’: The works of mercy on the Jubilee path.”

It is a beautiful straight forward message mirroring his intent for this Year of Mercy. He encourages all of us to reflect upon and practice the spiritual and corporal works of mercy to ‘reawaken our conscience…and to enter more deeply into the heart of the Gospel where the poor have a special experience of God’s mercy’.

This is so important because it is by performing these works, that we find that WE are the true poor.  We are the ones who consider ourselves rich, but actually are the ‘poorest of the poor‘.

Pope Francis makes it clear that because we are slaves to sin, we are in reality blind and fail to see this. We fail to see the conversion that God offers us because we are blinded by the proud illusion put forth by satan that “you will be like God” (Gen 3:5). We see others as those who need God’s mercy, NOT US!.

Only in practicing the works of mercy, both spiritual and corporal (that Pope Francis states can never be separated and must be performed together), can the ‘proud’, the ‘powerful’ and the ‘wealthy’ be awaken to the fact that they are also poor and in need of mercy.

If we refuse to open the depths of our hearts to Christ and call upon his mercy, it will be the ‘proud’, the ‘powerful’ and the ‘wealthy’ who condemn themselves to Hell.

Read the full message here: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=11138