Cardinal Jorge Urosa of Caracas prayed for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who announced he needs to undergo further treatment in his fight against cancer.
During his homily on Ash Wednesday on Feb. 22 at the Cathedral of Caracas, Cardinal Urosa prayed “in a special way for the physical health of the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez.”
The Venezuelan leader will travel to Cuba for surgery to have a potentially cancerous tumor removed.
Cardinal Urosa underscored the importance of the sacrament of reconciliation during the Mass and encouraged the faithful to fight sins associated with the flesh, reported local journalist Ramon Antonio Perez.
“We must learn to control our carnal passions and make great sacrifices in order to bear witness to Christ before the world, and to offer our lives for souls as future priests,” the cardinal said.
He also reminded the faithful of the obligation to observe the norms on fasting and abstinence during the season of Lent.
“Lord willing our prayer will be more fervent, and this year the Church encourages us to read the Word of God. But we should also attend Mass, which is the commemoration of the glorious Resurrection of Jesus Christ,” he added.
Cardinal Ursa also highlighted the practice of charity, recalling Christ’s command to “Love your neighbor as yourself. Lent should be a time to help the poor and needy in our society, as a task of each Christian.”