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Archbishop Jason Gordon, right, places ashes on the forehead of a boy during the Ash Wednesday Mass at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help RC Church, San Fernando yesterday.

KEVON FELMINE

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What little Carnival season there was is now over and as Christians enter the Lenten season Roman Catholic Archbishop Jason Gordon is calling on citizens to reflect on the violence in their hearts.

It is only the second month of 2021, yet the country is reeling from a heinous murder and numerous tragic bloodshed.

As he delivered Ash Wednesday mass at the Pro-Cathedral of our Lady of Perpetual Help in San Fernando yesterday, Gordon said if citizens were living a righteous life, the nation would not be in its current state.

He said it was as simple as people listening to the way they communicate with each other, even on social media. He said violence comes out of people’s mouth, even in the family setting.

Gordon said the family is supposed to be the school of love and the first place children learn Christianity.

He said, “Our hurtful words inside of families is really a cry of distress, is not it? And even when mom and dad are having disagreements, the level of those disagreements in front of the children. The children start hearing words of harm and hate and violence from ever so young. That breeds a nation that where violence becomes part of a parcel of the nation and the fabric of the nation. That breeds people whose hearts are turned outwards toward violence and against God.”

Gordon said he cringes whenever he hears a child tell a parent ‘I hate you’ as words have consequences.

He said the disrespect heard on national radio and television, for each other and high offices as eroding the fabric and soul of our society.

A prayer, fasting and sacrifice are the main features of Lent, he called on everyone to pray to God that families return to being the schools of love, that people replace violence in their hearts with an outpouring of love and that citizens will give alms to those in need.

It was the first time in probably 80 years that T&T has not grandly celebrated Carnival.

According to Gordon, it means the country commemorated Ash Wednesday like the rest of the world, without a Carnival Monday and Tuesday revelry on the streets. He said Carnival exists because Ash Wednesday is a day of national repentance.

“It is the day when the whole community is called to ask forgiveness for how we as a people have lived our lives. It is asking forgiveness for the way that we have not done what God has called us to do. It is asking forgiveness for the way in which we as a church have not been the witness and the light that this nation ought to have had,” Gordon said.

He said it is also recognising that parents were not the shining example to their children while spouses did not live as they should.

“Brothers and sisters, if we were living as we ought to live, the nation could never be where it is right now,” he said.