More than fasting and abstinence, Lent is a season to begin cultivating an attitude of gratitude.
This was the reminder of Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan to the faithful on Ash Wednesday, the official start of the Lenten season in the Catholic Church.
The prelate said gratitude comes from encountering Christ’s love and mercy.
“We don’t become holy by giving up. We don’t become holy by doing something for the Lord,” said Archbishop Villegas. “What makes us holy? Gratitude.”
“Gratitude is what makes people saints and ingratitude is what makes people devils,” he said.
The archbishop was speaking during Ash Wednesday Mass at the St. John the Evangelist Cathedral in Dagupan City.
The prelate said being grateful is “more important” than giving up and sacrificing.
“It is not about what we give up. It is saying ‘thank you’ for everything that makes us holy. It is not what we do for God,” he said.
“Let it be clear, God does not need what we want to do for him because Christianity is not about telling people what to do for God. Christianity is about telling people what God has done for humanity,” he said.
“And if we know what God has done for humanity, what can we say but ‘thank you, Lord!’” Archbishop Villegas added.