Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 3, 2003
Fast and pray for peace on Ash Wednesday - pope
By JOHN THAVIS
Fasting on Ash Wednesday should be an "expression of penitence for the hatred and violence that pollute human relations."
- Pope John Paul
"We will above all implore from God the conversion of hearts and the wisdom of just decisions to resolve with peaceful and adequate means the disagreements that hinder humanity's pilgrimage in our time," he said.
He said particular attention should be given that day to praying the rosary - in families, parishes and Marian sanctuaries around the world.
The pope said fasting on Ash Wednesday this year should be an "expression of penitence for the hatred and violence that pollute human relations."
He pointed out that Christians share the ancient practice of fasting with men and women of other faiths.
"With them, Christians want to strip themselves of all pride and prepare themselves to receive from God the greatest and most necessary gifts, in particular the gift of peace," he said.
In praying for Mary to guide the prayer and fasting initiative, the pope quoted from the Beatitudes, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." He said that invocation needs to resound with new force in today's world and find practical application.
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