Aid Worker Stresses Baptismal Life of Charity

Encourages Revival of this Grace During Lent

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 22, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The president of Manos Unidas is underlining the work of charity that springs from Christian baptism.

Myriam Garcia Abrisqueta, made this reflection at today's presentation of Benedict XVI's annual Lenten message, which this year focused on the theme of baptism.

She affirmed that "Lent is a time to revive -- to live again or to live more intensely -- the grace of baptism in us."

"From the source of baptism springs the water of charity -- of gratuitous and selfless love -- that through so many charitable associations of the Church distributes the gifts, goods, longings for justice and talents of the faithful among the poorest of the whole world," Abrisqueta said.

She noted that the Catholic institutions dedicated to charity "can help the man of today by opening channels for them to direct their good resolutions, their desire to serve and their authentic vocation."

Abrisqueta affirmed, "When detachment, service, generosity, the desire to give oneself to one's neighbor, are fostered in man's heart, what is being fostered is rejection of that life that was buried with baptism, which is the life of sin and self-sufficiency that is borne within us."

Generosity

She thanked the Pope "for his teachings, which help all of us to put things in their place, to rediscover the need to live the Gospel with simplicity and humility, but also with generosity and selflessness."

The Pontiff's "last encyclical letter on integral human development in charity and in truth, 'Caritas in Veritate,' has been a new encouragement in our daily work to make this world more beautiful, where Christ can make himself present," Abrisqueta affirmed.

She stated, "With a spirit of faith and with great trust in Divine Providence, Manos Unidas has strengthened the spirituality of its volunteers rooted in our baptism, which makes us be witnesses of a greater love, God's love for men."

Abrisqueta affirmed that this love "was expressed and materialized in the incarnation of the Word, assuming the condition of man, but who was not satisfied with that but wished to identify himself with those who have the least."

"It is by keeping this bond of being children of God, this being anointed and chosen by baptism, and our being gifted with the gift of love that enables us to explain the birth of Manos Unidas," the organization's president said, "which was born as a commitment that springs from the Christian vocation."

Manos Unidas gathers volunteers to fight hunger and poverty worldwide. It has sponsored 25,000 development projects in over 60 countries.

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