In his Lenten message for 2014, Pope Francis takes inspiration from the words of St. Paul (Cor 8:9), and asks us to contemplate Paul's invitation to live "a life of evangelical poverty."
We can begin to embrace this call by fasting from or "giving up" material things, including foods, that are superfluous to our basic needs; "taking up" charitable habits that are directed to helping and caring for others; and "lifting up" our brothers and sisters who are in need through giving alms, praying and participating in devotional practices.
"In the poor and outcast we see Christ's face; by loving and helping the poor, we love and serve Christ." — Pope Francis, Message for Lent 2014. . .
By taking an active approach to the three traditional pillars of Lenten observance, prayer, fasting and almsgiving, we recognize that to be evangelists, we must first be evangelized ourselves. Spiritual suggestions, along with inspirational words from Pope Francis and some of the saints who are remembered during the season on our downloadable Lenten calendar provide a daily reminder of your evangelical call.
This Lent, we also have urgent reason to focus prayer and attention on peace in the Holy Land, as our leaders work to resolve the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict.