Catholic issue Lenten letter ‘God will not abandon Malawi’

Influential Roman Catholic Church has urged its faithful to pray for  the worsening economic and governance conditions in the country, according to a Lenten pastoral letter issues by the Episcoporal Conference of Malawi (ECM).

The letter signed by ECM chairperson , His Grace, Right Rev. Bishop Joseph Mukasa Zuza, was released on ‘Ash Wednesday’  kicking off the Lenten season of penitence, including the placement of ashes on the forehead of faithful.

The church said Ash Wednesday is the beginning the 40-day season of Lent, when the faithful prepare for Easter, which this year falls on April 8,  by doing penance for sins and seeking spiritual renewal through prayer, self-denial and good works.

Catholic bishops: Lenten message

In the Lenten letter titled ‘ Let us love not in word and speech but in deed,’ the head of Catholic church noted the culmination of Lent is the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and said the events are “relevant for our lives.”

Bishop Zuza says the head of Catholic church worldwide, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI’s  Lenten message  has highlighted that Lenten Season is “an opportunity to specially reflect upon charity, which is ‘the very heart of Christian life.’ “

The Holy Father invites all the faithful to take the Lenten journey of 2012 as “an opportunity to show concern for each other by taking up responsibility of a custodian towards our brothers and sisters in a spirit of charity and gentleness (Gal. 6:1; Prov. 9:8; Eph. 5:11).”

However, the Lenten letter says “this would be impossible without getting rid of life of isolation, indifference and selfishness from our hearts. “

“On behalf of my fellow brother bishops of the Catholic Church, I appeal to all the Catholic faithful to journey in the path that the Holy Father has called us to do. Let us aim at a higher standard of Christian living. Let us renew our witness of love and fidelity to the Lord,” says Bishop Zuza in the letter.

“Therefore, let us desist the temptation of being lukewarm Christians. Let us use our different talents for our own good and the good of others,” he added.

Prayer action

The bishop noted that “Malawi would be a better place to live in if we all take our respective roles.”

His Grace Bishop Zuza says among the evils the fiathful should fight against more especially during this Holy Season of Lent are: “corruption, nepotism, tribalism, pride, body desires, witchcraft, Satanism, child abuse, drunkenness.”

“My brothers and sisters, these evils are against the law of love which is the centre of Christian life,” he noted.

“I urge you to pray for our country and our leaders. They have the big responsibility of working for the good of each and everyone,” the ECM chairperson added.

Bishop Zuza pointed out that Malawi is passing through “very difficult times.”

He says: “As believers, we know God will not abandon us for He loves us so dearly. Let us all pray for our country.”

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