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Pope Promotes Gift of Giving

WASHINGTON (CNS): Pope John Paul II has exhorted Catholics to a “gratuitousness” in their service and charity to others this Lent.

“What better time is there than Lent for offering this testimony of gratuitousness which the world so badly needs?” the Pope said in his annual Lenten message. “In the very love which God has for us, there lies the call to give ourselves freely to others in turn.”

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday – February 13 this year.

The theme of the Pope’s message is “Freely You Have Received, Freely Give”.

Pope John Paul said, “As believers, we must be open to a life marked by ‘gratuitousness’, by the giving of ourselves unreservedly to God and neighbour.

“The world prizes human relationships based on self-interest and personal gain, and this fosters an egocentric vision of life, in which too often there is no room for the poor and weak. Every person, even the least gifted, must be welcomed and loved for themselves, regardless of their qualities and defects.’

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