As Lent approaches, our Chaplain Sr Josephine Canny OA blogs on how our keeping of the season might relate to our care of God’s creation…
Many of the Churches are proposing that during Lent this year, we reflect on our attitude towards the planet.
In some ways Lent resembles a Sports Hall where Almsgiving, Prayer and Fasting are the “exercises”. What we are trying to achieve is a capacity to live under the Father’s gaze. Most of our time we are worried about the gaze of others, how we are perceived etc. and this can weigh us down.
Living under the gaze of the Father liberates us, so that the result of our “exercise” over the 40 days is to regain our freedom which, in turn, helps to liberate others.
In the traditional “Stations of the Cross” or “Way of the Cross”, one of the meditations offered is to reflect on Jesus’ encounter with the women of Jerusalem: “…but Jesus turned to them and said Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, weep rather for yourselves and for your children”. (Luke 23,28.) There is mutual empathy in this encounter between the women of Jerusalem and Jesus. There is shared pain. Women and children are disproportionately affected by climate change. While women themselves suffer, they share the pain of their children’s suffering as well. It is future generations who will bear the brunt of climate change especially those from the most vulnerable countries.
In his encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis reminds us that ‘ Our goal is … to become painfully aware, to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus to discover what each of us can do about it.’
Creator God, deepen our sense of suffering within our global family and move us into action. Help us to discover what each of us can do about it. May we step out of our relatively comfortable lifestyle and enter into our Lenten exercise of living under the Father’s gaze.