"The spiritual sacrifice of limiting our meals has as a natural consequence rendering us weaker," Cardinal Rigali said in his two-minute, 26-second video clip entitled "Living Lent: The First Sunday", Catholic Online reports.
"This in turn reminds of us our dependence on God and helps us recall the needs of our less fortunate brothers and sisters."
The Lenten period of 40 days recounts the time "Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the desert wasteland during which he ate nothing," the Cardinal said.
"Physically weakened by hunger, Jesus is tempted three times by the devil who wants him to use his power to obtain bread, to receive glory and to exercise dominion of the whole world," Cardinal Rigali said.
Yet, he noted, Jesus' answer is "the inspired word of God", which defeats the devil.
"The gospel warns that we too will face the allure, the attraction of sin," he said, urging that Catholics should follow Jesus' example and accept the Lenten invitation "to probe the richness of the word of God."
He called Catholics of the archdiocese to consider joining a parish Bible-study group during "these days of prayer and reflection".
"As we accept God's will for us each day, we too, dear friends, will be led by the spirit through the desert of our lives to a deep encounter with the father," he said. "When temptation to sin inevitably confronts us, we can rely on the great wellspring of the living word of God dwelling in our hearts."
As of 28 February, there were more than 9,800 views of the cardinal's YouTube video message.
Walk through desert of our lives, cardinal tells Catholics in Lenten You Tube message (Catholic Online, 27/2/07)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Living Lent, The First Sunday, Cardinal Justin Rigali (YouTube)
Australian Bishops initiative for People with Disabilities (YouTube)
US cardinal summonses priests to listen to abuse victims (CathNews, 18/9/06)
28 Feb 2007