As Pope Francis reminds us in his Lenten message, Lent is a time for conversion and renewal that prepare us for a joyful celebration of Easter. For everyone there is a need for conversion and an invitation to renewal, specific to each of us according to the circumstances of our lives.
A place where the call to conversion and renewal speaks to all of us without exception is the natural world, the environment created by God upon which we all depend for life. The call is urgent, the need is great and well documented and the opportunities are numerous. For encouragement there are, within these forty days of Lent, significant events to remind and guide us.
March 22nd is World Water Day when we focus on how we can protect our water sources and keep them clean and safe for everyone and identify the reasons that many people do not have access to clean water. http://www.worldwaterday.org/
March 30th is the day we celebrate Earth Hour. By turning off all non-essential electricity between 8:30 and 9:30 pm we reflect on the effect that our lifestyle has on our relationship with the environment. https://www.earthhour.org/
During Lent the NGO Citizens for Public Justice sponsors “Give It Up for the Earth” a campaign to encourage lifestyle changes that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. https://cpj.ca/fortheearth
Every region will have local activities for us to participate in as well, as we enter into the season of Lent with a desire for conversion and renewal of our relationship with the earth.
What is required of us is an attitude of repentance, of acknowledgement of past wrongs and harm done and a sincere desire to renew our commitment to a just and unselfish bond with the natural world that sustains us.
May our Lent be fruitful and our Easter joyful.
-Sr. Frances Brady, OLM