Lent 2015: End globalisation of indifference

Dear Caritas supporters,

As I, along with millions of others around the world, prepare for Lent, I look at where my connections with others have weakened and where I have fallen into indifference and complacency towards those around me.

Pope Francis talks about ‘the globalisation of indifference’ in his Lenten message this year and asks what we can do to overcome the spiral of distress and powerlessness.

The images and stories of suffering around the world can overwhelm us and can suffocate hope. How tempting is it to think that Syrians will remain refugees for years to come and we can’t do anything about their children dying from hypothermia. How comforting is it to think that there may be wide seas or many miles between us and the people dying from Ebola.

A church in Bangui where hundreds of people are seeking safety. Close to a million people have fled their homes in the Central African Republic as conflict and chaos continues to grip the country. Photo by Pétula Malo/Caritas

A church in Bangui where hundreds of people are seeking saftey. Close to a million people have fled their homes in the Central African Republic as conflict and chaos continues to grip the country. Photo by Pétula Malo/Caritas

Yet Lent is a time in which we are called back on our path to follow Christ. It is a time when we are called to renewal and when we are invited to reaffirm our relationship with brothers and sisters as one human family.

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.” 1 Corinthians 12:12

Lent is a time when we can “retrain” ourselves in “heartfelt concern” and charity (Deus Caritas Est).  It is a time to remind ourselves to listen, rather than talk and to try to understand what God is saying to us.

I join Pope Francis in calling for an end to the globalisation of indifference. Your support of Caritas can bring an end to this indifference.

“Caritas is the caress of the Church to its people, the caress of the Mother Church to her children, her tenderness and closeness,” said Pope Francis.

Through your support and donations to Caritas you make your presence felt in the lives of the most vulnerable and make them feel the tenderness of the whole human family. With your support we can help people change their own lives.

Yours in Christ,

Oscar Andrés Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga, S.D.B.
President of Caritas Internationalis