3rd March this year 2019 saw Catholic churches across the world filled to capacity. Catholics and some Christians came together to celebrate the Ash Wednesday’s Mass, marking the beginning of the Lenten season also known as Quadragesima. This is a 40 days period of mortification through piety in prayer, motivational fasting and charity expressed in almsgiving. All that is in preparation for Easter.

…Ash Wednesday Mass at Mangochi Cathedral

His Lordship Bishop Stima of Diocese of Mangochi celebrated Holy Ash Wednesday Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral in Mangochi. In his homily, Bishop Stima taught on mortification values during the Lenten season.

“Prayer, fasting and charitable works are vessels for mortification. However, the three virtuous acts are to be intensified during the Lenten season because they become a symbol of humility before God and love to our neighbor. During Lent all are called to share the sufferings, crucifixion and death of our Lord, Jesus Christ in readiness of His resurrection,” Bishop Stima said.

“Let meaningful fasting benefit the needy. Fasting should not on be on sin. Sin had to be absconded and condemned. In the season, let prayer life be communal and parents inculcate a behaviour of charity to our children. We all have something to give,” he added.

Fr. Israel: ‘you are dust and to dust you shall return’

Bishop Stima henceforth appealed on all Catholics in the diocese to contribute kindly and happily towards care of the Holy City, Jerusalem. He then instructed that there be a special contribution every time the Way of the Cross’ is conducted in the season  with the intend of boosting the Good Friday collection which supports of the life of the Holy Places.

From the Vatican, His Holiness, Pope Francis conducted the Ash Wednesday Mass at Saint Peter’s Basilica.

In his special message for the Lenten Season, entitled “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God” (Rm8: 19) Pope Francis called on people of every kind to take necessary care for ecology.

“…when we fail to live as children of God, we often behave in a destructive way towards our neighbours and other creatures – and ourselves as well – since we begin to think more or less consciously that we can use them as we will. Intemperance then takes the upper hand: we start to live a life that exceeds those limits imposed by our human condition and nature itself. We yield to those untrammelled desires that the Book of Wisdom sees as typical of the ungodly, those who act without thought for God or hope for the future (cf. 2:1-11). Unless we tend constantly towards Easter, towards the horizon of the Resurrection, the mentality expressed in the slogans “I want it all and I want it now!” “Canticle of the Creatures” by Saint Francis (cf. Laudato Si’, 87).

This year, the Lords Passion falls on 19th April and Christians will celebrate Easter on 21th April this year.