Pope Benedict XVI, gave his thoughts on what is the key to a fruitful Lent, during his final message for Lent in 2013. Where he encourages us to increase both our faith and works of charity during Lent.
He went further to tell us that the celebration of Lent offers us a quality opportunity to meditate on the relationship between faith and charity. Also, to meditate on believing in God, in his Son Jesus Christ and in love, which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit and which directs us on the path of devotion to God. He then explains how faith leads to charity, which is a response to God’s love for us.
The whole of Christian life is a response to God’s love. The first response is faith as the acceptance, filled with wonder and gratitude, of the unprecedented divine initiative that precedes us and call us. And the answer of faith marks the starting of a radiant story of friendship with the Lord, which fills and gives full meaning to our whole life.
But it is not enough for God that we simply welcome his gratuitous love. Not only that he love us, he also wants to draw us to himself, to transform us in such a profound way as to bring us to say with Saint Paul in (Gal. 2:20), “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
In other words, (1 Tim 2:4) explains that Faith is all about knowing the truth and adhering to it, charity is therefore, walking in the truth (Eph 4:15).”
Pope Benedict XVI reminds us to take the next step and to use that renewed faith and be charitable towards others. Because faith with good work is meaningless. According to (1 Corinthians 13:1, St. Paul famously says “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal”.
Charity should be our radar always, and we can not trade it for a perfect prayer life. We must remember to allow our prayer life to drive our charity, seeking to do unto others in generosity. Which is the Christian life and also the key to a fruitful Lent.