02/25/2009 SRI LANKA
Lent, a time for forgiveness in war-torn Sri Lanka
Personal conversion is the first response to society’s divisions. For the time that comes before Easter Caritas-Sri Lanka SEDEC issues a booklet dedicated to “Harmony through Reconciliation.”
Colombo (AsiaNews) – “We, too, are called to take up daily crosses in our life and go forward to forgive and forget the past and reconcile ourselves because the love of Christ urges us to do so,” is the thrust of a message issued for Lent by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Sri Lanka (CBCSL) in a booklet sent out to all the faithful, so harshly tried by the war between the Sri Lankan army and the rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Mgr Harold Anthony Perera, chairman of the Catholic National Commission for Justice, Peace and Human Development, said that the 40 days that precede Easter are a privileged moment for the war-torn country, where divisions and violence reign.
For the prelate, in identifying with the death, passion and resurrection of the Lord Christians can embark on a necessary journey to overcome the traumatic experience shared by so many victims of the war and conquer the desperation and sadness that pervade Sri Lankan society.
As indicated by the title of the small booklet issued by the National office of Caritas-Sri Lanka SEDEC, “Harmony through Reconciliation” is the mandate placed upon every believer in the island nation.
For Bishop Perera, Sri Lankan Catholics are an “Easter people”. The conversion to which they are called in Christ’s example and love for the Father is the first contribution they can make towards reconciliation in a “divided and alienated” society shaped by “un-Christian values of race, language, power and supremacy”.
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