“What are you giving up for Lent?” It’s a question a lot of people will get these next few days. If you want to change your body, perhaps alcohol, sweets and cigarettes is the way to go. But if you want to change your heart, a harder fast is needed. This narrow road is gritty, but it isn’t sterile. It will make room in ourselves to experience a love that can make us whole and set us free. So, if we’re going to fast from anything this Lent, Pope Francis suggests that even more than sweets or alcohol, we fast from indifference towards others.
In his annual Lenten message, the Pope says: “Indifference to our neighbour and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians. Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience.” These are the words of the Pope:
Fast from hurting words … and say kind words, Fast from sadness … and be filled with gratitude, Fast from anger … and be filled with patience, Fast from pessimism … and be filled with hope, Fast from worries … and have trust in God, Fast from complaints … and contemplate simplicity, Fast from pressures … and be prayerful, Fast from bitterness … and fill your hearts with joy, Fast from selfishness … and be compassionate to others, Fast from grudges … and be reconciled, Fast from words … and be silent so you can listen!