“Let us not grow tired of doing good… let us do good to all.”

Pope Francis' invitation for this Ash Wednesday

At a time when the world is once again shaken by rumours of war, Pope Francis makes a strong appeal to Catholics to leave behind their personal interests and dedicate themselves to the common good. This appeal applies to all men and women of good will in the world. This detachment from our own ideas, our own interests, our own possessions brings us back to a dimension that is at the centre of the Ignatian Year of the Society of Jesus: conversion. Here are some of Francis' key ideas that can nourish our meditation at the beginning of Lent 2022.

“Lent invites us to conversion, to a change in mindset, so that life’s truth and beauty may be found not so much in possessing as in giving, not so much in accumulating as in sowing and sharing goodness. (...) What about the harvest? Do we not sow seeds in order to reap a harvest? Of course!”

But the Pope invites us to detach ourselves also from the ambition of immediate results, the success of our efforts, of our sowing. He points out that in reality we are only allowed to see a small part of the fruits of what we sow, leaving the whole project to God. By sowing for the good of others, we participate in God's magnanimity in the spirit of what was put forward in Fratelli tutti (n. 196): "It is truly noble to place our hope in the hidden power of the seeds of goodness we sow, and thus to initiate processes whose fruits will be reaped by others.”

So the plea before us for this Lent is: let us not grow tired of doing good. “Bitter disappointment at shattered dreams, deep concern for the challenges ahead and discouragement at the poverty of our resources, can make us tempted to seek refuge in self-centeredness and indifference to the suffering of others.” But these obstacles can be overcome because, the Pope affirms, following the prophets and Saints Peter and Paul: “Those who hope in the Lord will regain their strength.”

In particular, so that we don’t get tired of doing good, Pope Francis urges us, during Lent:
- not to tire of praying, of turning to God, because wanting to be self-sufficient is a dangerous illusion and the pandemic has allowed us to see our fragility more clearly;
- not to tire of eliminating evil from our lives - and here he points out the risk of addiction to digital media - by encouraging rich interpersonal encounters that commit us to the good of others;
- not to tire of doing good through concrete charity, for Lent is a time to reach out to those in need or those suffering from loneliness.

Read Pope Francis' entire message for Lent 2022.

Two suggestions for an online Lenten retreat:
- from the Gregorian Foundation
- from the team of “Pray-as-you-go”

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Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles media relations.

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