Pope John Paul II's Ash Wednesday Message
Here is the Pope's comments on Lent overall:
From Scoop: Reflection on Meaning of Prayer and Fasting - Pope:
I also wished to propose again the urgent invitation to conversion, penance and solidarity in the Message for Lent, made known a few days ago, whose theme is the beautiful phrase of the Acts of the Apostles: "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (see 20:35).
In fact, only by converting to this logic can a social order be constructed characterized not by a precarious balance of conflicting interests, but by a just and common search for the common good. Christians, as leaven, are called to live and spread a style of generosity in every realm of life, thus promoting the authentic moral and civil development of society. In this connection, I have written: "To deprive oneself not only of the superfluous, but even of something more to distribute it to those in need, contributes to that denial of self without which there is no authentic practice of Christian life" (No. 4: [daily] L'Osservatore Romano, Feb. 7, 2003, p. 5).