Saturday, April 2, 2011

Going green for Lent?

Growing up, Lent always meant "fish days" on Friday and giving up something benign like chocolate, most years anyway. It wasn't until the last three or four years that I made it a bit more interesting.

Like the year I gave up Diet Coke, and the world kept a wide bearth from this caffeine addict. Or the year I said the rosay on a daily basis - forcing me to refocus on my relationship with God and giving up, of all things, my time. And this year? Breaking a bad habit that I've beaten myself up for years: junk food. Again, all seem like very small steps on the outset, but breaking well entrenched bad habits and birthing more positive choices have been my focus.

Making more positive choices have been the focus of a few articles I've stumbled across lately, one that's even created some controversy in our diocese's newspaper. It's about going green for Lent and whether that's a real spiritual choice or just lip service.

After an artice ran in the paper about a group that was promoting an entire Lenten study focusing on the environment, letters lit up questioning whether that was truly what Lent - and the preparations of our hearts - was about. The web has various interdenominational themes on going green for Lent, including a 40-day carbon fast (another version here) and a "Green Lent" Bible study that melds scriptural verses with small positive actions.

Granted, I come from the standpoint that caring for God's creation is part of our charge in life. But I admit I wasn't certain at first about a focus on reducing our impact on this world as a driver during Lent.

Pope Benedict wrote last year:

Our present crises – be they economic, food-related, environmental or social – are ultimately also moral crises, and all of them are interrelated. They require us to rethink the path which we are travelling together. Specifically, they call for a lifestyle marked by sobriety and solidarity, with new rules and forms of engagement, one which focuses confidently and courageously on strategies that actually work, while decisively rejecting those that have failed.

Turning Lent into an impetus for changing habits, however small and entrenched, is never a bad thing. It's obvious it can change your relationship to this world. How it impacts your relationship with God, though, is between you and Him.

Wishing you a fruitful spring,

Going Green Mama


TheoJess said...

This is a great post! For Lent this year I decided to try reducing my exorbitant use of water for bathing...instead of a daily bath, having one every second day. Sounds like not a big deal, but the bath has always been my 'thing' - to get warm, relaxed, away from the kids, etc. It has been a challenge, and I haven't been entirely successful, but it is helping me to change a wasteful habit, in a prayerful way.

Cindy Conner said...

"Green" choices have everything to do with Lent. This year I have only been eating what I've grown on the Fridays in Lent. I've written about it in my blog at Anything that makes us more mindful about caring for Creation, both the earth and the people, is certainly a Lenten activity.


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