Pope Francis’ Lenten retreat this week focuses on questions posed by the Gospel
Pope Francis and other members of the Roman Curia began their annual spiritual retreat on Sunday 6th March, the fourth Sunday of Lent. On Sunday evening, after having prayed the Angelus together with the faithful in St. Peter’s Square at noon, Pope Francis boarded a small bus that took him to the “Casa Divin Maestro” Centre in the town of Ariccia in the Alban Hills just outside Rome. This is where Fr. Ermes Ronchi, of the Servants of Mary, is leading the group in spiritual exercises based on 10 questions from the Gospels. These are the questions contemplated throughout the five days:
1. “What are you looking for?” (John 1:38)
2. “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:40)
3. “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again?” (Matthew 5:13)
4. “But who do you say that I am?” (Luke 9:20)
5. “Then, turning to the woman, he told Simon, ‘Do you see this woman?’” (Luke 7:44)
6. “How many loaves do you have?” (Mark 6:38, Matthew 15:34)
7. “Straightening up, Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?’” (John 8:10)
8. “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” (John 20:15)
9. “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” (John 21:16)
10. “Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be?’” (Luke 1:34).
The Pope’s retreat lasts until Friday 10 March. During the retreat Pope Francis will have no public meetings or audiences, including no Wednesday general audience.