Talk to us

CathNews, the most frequently visited Catholic website in Australia, is your daily news service featuring Catholics and Catholicism from home and around the world, Mass on Demand and on line, prayer, meditation, reflections, opinion, and reviews. And, what's more - it's free!

Pope Francis presides over Ash Wednesday Mass in the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome yesterday (Vatican Media)

Pope Francis opened the Lenten season with a procession and Mass on Ash Wednesday yesterday, telling Catholics to carve out a silent space for God amid the buzz of the digital era in which little remains private. Source: Crux.

In his homily, the pope focused on the emphasis the day’s scripture readings places on praying, fasting and giving alms “in secret,” saying Jesus’s invitation to the disciples to “go to your room” to do these things instead of seeking public recognition for them is at the heart of the Lenten season.

Going to one’s room, in this sense, he said, “means journeying from without to within, so that our whole life, including our relationship with God, is not reduced to mere outward show, a frame without a picture, a draping of the soul, but is born from within and reflects the movements of our heart.”

“Without realising it, we find ourselves no longer having an ‘inner chamber’ in which we can stop and care for ourselves, immersed as we are in a world in which everything, including our emotions and deepest feelings, has to become ‘social’,” he said.

In the social media era, “Even the most tragic and painful experiences risk not having a quiet place where they can be kept. Everything has to be exposed, shown off, fed to the gossip mill of the moment,” he said.

However, Francis said God’s invitation for Lent is to “Enter into the secret, return to the centre of yourself.”

“Precisely there, where so many fears, feelings of guilt and sin are lurking, precisely there the Lord has descended in order to heal and cleanse you,” he said.


In a social media era, make private time for God, Pope says (By Elise Ann Allen, Crux)