Sunday, 10 April 2011 14:42
A Catholic prelate called on the faithful to spend the Holy Week by doing charitable works to the needy.
Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas reminded the faithful that prayers or penance alone will not make the Holy week holy.
"Those pious practices are without meaning if not founded on love, because it is “love that makes this season holy,” he said.
“Prayers can be inspiring and penances can be admirable but only love can redeem. Only love saves. Love alone sanctifies us,” Villegas stressed.
The prelate told the faithful to do acts of charity as an alternative way of spending the Holy Week meaningfully.
“As we keep our pious practices like the stations of the cross, confessions, visita iglesia and penitensiya, let us also consider making acts of charity to the poor as the way to share in the spirit of the Lenten season,” he said.
He said one may “consider visiting fourteen patients in our government hospitals and meditate, as you visit them, on the sufferings of Christ,” he said.
Villegas also recommended jail visitation as another way to share God’s love and mercy to those behind bars.
“We can bring them our prayers and greetings and volunteer to be couriers of their letters that they want to send to their loved ones who are unable to visit them,” he said.
The prelate said one can also bring food and clothes to the poor in honor of Jesus’ humiliation at Calvary.
Villegas recalled Pope John Paul II’s visit in the country in 1981 when lepers from Tala Leprosarium were brought to him so he could bless them. Instead the pope knelt before a leper and kissed his leprous hands and exclaimed, “My Lord!”
“Give love this Lenten season. Pour love into your prayers. Let your penance overflow into charity,” he stressed.
As part of its Lenten observance, the archdiocese will reach out to the poor and marginalized through a pilgrimage of charity by conducting charity medical, dental and surgical missions.
“The sick and the poor in our marginalized areas will receive charity medical assistance from their healthier brothers and sisters,” Villegas said.
The pilgrimage of charity will start on April 4 at the Parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Canan, Malasiqui; April 7 at Saint Catherine of Siena Parish, Villanueva, Bautista; April 9 at Cristo Divino Tesoro in Buenlag, Calasiao; April 11 at Holy Family Parish, Tandoc, San Carlos City; April 16 at the Lay Formation Center, Bonuan Gueset, Dagupan City; and May 2 at the San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish, Wawa, Bayambang.
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