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"In a harmonious connection with prayer, fasting and almsgiving can also be considered occasions for learning and practicing Christian hope. The Fathers and ancient writers liked to emphasize that these three dimensions of Gospel life are inseparable, reciprocally enrich each other, and bear more fruit the more they collaborate with each others,. Lent as a whole, thanks to the joint action of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, forms Christians to be men and women of hope after the example of the saints." — Pope Benedict XVI, Homily During Holy Mass, Blessing and Imposition of the Ashes on Ash Wednesday, February 6, 2008.
From A Year with Pope Benedict, XVI, © Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Used with permission. May not be reproduced in any form for commercial purposes
"Reach out in charity. As we experience weakness and suffering during
Lent, we should be renewed in our compassion for those who are hungry,
suffering or otherwise in need. The third part of the Lenten formula is
almsgiving. It's about more than throwing a few extra dollars in the
collection plate; it's about reaching out to others and helping them
without question as a way of sharing the experience of God's
unconditional love." ---Bishop David Ricken, Journey to the Foot of the Cross: 10 Things to Remember for Lent.
The foundational call of Christians to charity is a frequent theme of the Gospels. During Lent, we are asked to focus more intently on "almsgiving," which means donating money or goods to the poor and performing other acts of charity. As one of the three pillars of Lenten practice, almsgiving is "a witness to fraternal charity" and "a work of justice pleasing to God." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2462).
In his 2008 Message for Lent Pope Benedict XVI explained "In inviting us to consider almsgiving with a more profound gaze that transcends the purely material dimension, Scripture teaches us that there is more joy in giving than in receiving (Acts 20:35). When we do things out of love, we express the truth of our being; indeed, we have been created not for ourselves but for God and our brothers and sisters (2 Cor 5:15). Every time when, for love of God, we share our goods with our neighbor in need, we discover that the fullness of life comes from love and all is returned to us as a blessing in the form of peace, inner satisfaction and joy."There are several special opportunities for almsgiving through donations to Church ministries for which collections are conducted during the Lenten season including:
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