Skip to main content
Tags: Ash Wednesday | pope | lent | consumerism

Pope Opens Lent with Call to Avoid 'Clutches of Consumerism'

Pope Opens Lent with Call to Avoid 'Clutches of Consumerism'

Wednesday, 06 March 2019 03:55 PM EST

Pope Francis told Catholics on Wednesday that success, power and material possessions are fleeting and will disappear "like dust in the wind" as he marked the start of the penitential Christian season of Lent.

Francis led a traditional procession between two churches on Rome's Aventine Hill and later said Mass during which he had ashes rubbed onto his head by a cardinal in a rite intended to remind people of their mortality.

"The small mark of ash, which we will receive, is a subtle yet real reminder that of the many things occupying our thoughts, that we chase after and worry about every day, nothing will remain," he said in his homily.

"No matter how hard we work, we will take no wealth with us from this life. Earthly realities fade away like dust in the wind," he said. "Possessions are temporary, power passes, success wanes."

During Lent, which ends on Easter Sunday - April 21 this year - Christians are urged to give alms, pray and fast.

On Sunday, the pope and most top Vatican officials will travel to a town south of Rome to take part in a week-long spiritual Lenten retreat.

The retreat takes place as the Church faces criticism from victims of sexual abuse by clergy who say a top-level conference at the Vatican last month has failed to come up with concrete measures to tackle the issue.

The Church is also reeling from the conviction in Australia of Cardinal George Pell on sexual abuse charges.

In Wednesday's homily, Francis said people should focus on the needs of others and practice "charity that frees us from the vanity of acquiring and of thinking that things are only good if they are good for me."

"Outward appearance, money, a career or hobby: if we live for them, they will become idols that enslave us, sirens that charm us and then cast us adrift," Francis said.

"We need to free ourselves from the clutches of consumerism and the snares of selfishness, from always wanting more, from never being satisfied, and from a heart closed to the needs of the poor," he said.

© Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


GlobalTalk
Pope Francis has urged Roman Catholic faithful to free themselves from the "clutches of consumerism and the snares of selfishness" as he marked the start of Lent, the period of prayer and fasting before Easter.Francis led a procession and then celebrated Ash Wednesday Mass...
Ash Wednesday, pope, lent, consumerism
354
2019-55-06
Wednesday, 06 March 2019 03:55 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
 
TOP

Interest-Based Advertising | Do not sell or share my personal information

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
Get the NewsmaxTV App for iOS Get the NewsmaxTV App for Android Scan QR code to get the NewsmaxTV App
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved