Frequent confession, mortification, almsgiving....

True conversion is manifested in our conduct. The desire to improve must be expressed in our work or study, in our behavior with our family, in the small mortifications offered to the Lord, which make living together around us more pleasant and our work more effective; and also in the preparation and care of frequent Confession.

The Lord also asks of us today a slightly more special mortification, which we offer with joy: abstinence and fasting, which "fortifies the spirit, mortifying the flesh and its sensuality; elevates the soul to God; abates concupiscence, giving strength to overcome and temper its passions, and disposes the heart to seek nothing other than to please God in everything".

During Lent, the Church asks of us those signs of penance (abstinence from meat from the age of 14, and fasting between the ages of 18 and 59), which bring us closer to the Lord and give the soul a special joy; also, almsgiving which, offered with a merciful heart, wishes to bring a little comfort to those who are in need or to contribute according to our means to an apostolic work for the good of souls. "All Christians can exercise themselves in almsgiving, not only the rich and well-to-do, but even those of average position and even the poor; in this way, those who are unequal in their ability to give alms are alike in the love and affection with which they do it."

Detachment from material things, mortification and abstinence purify our sins and help us to encounter the Lord in our daily activities. For "he who seeks God while desiring to continue his tastes, seeks him by night, and by night he will not find him". The source of this mortification will be mainly in our daily work: in the order, in the punctuality in starting our work, in the intensity with which we carry it out, etc.; in living together with others we will find occasions to mortify our selfishness and to contribute to create a more pleasant climate in our environment. "And the best mortification is that which combats - in small details, throughout the day - the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes and the pride of life. Mortifications that do not mortify others, that make us more delicate, more understanding, more open to everyone. You will not be mortified if you are susceptible, if you are concerned only with your own selfishness, if you subjugate others, if you do not know how to deprive yourself of the superfluous and, at times, of the necessary; if you are saddened when things do not turn out as you had foreseen. On the other hand, you are mortified if you know how to do everything for everyone, so that you may gain everyone (1 Cor 9:22). Each one of us should make a concrete plan of mortifications to offer to the Lord daily during this Lent.