Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lenten Sacrifice Transferred to Daily Life

Today Korean Catholics, like all Catholics throughout the world, receive ashes on the head and begin the period of preparation for Easter. The 40 year journey and trials of the Israelites in the desert are a good remembrance for our journey in the desert of earthly life. Jesus spent 40 days in the desert and we do the same with this period of Lent.

The trials of the Israelites in the desert were difficult and the temptations they encountered were too much for them. They doubted , complained, got angry, and wanted to return to Egypt. Jesus showed a different kind of response in the desert. In our journey of life we meet many temptations and obstacles; most of the time we react in the way of the Israelites and not Jesus.

What has happened to the earth that God gave us is a serious obstacle in developing a future that will benefit all of human kind. We are faced with pollution, destruction of the environment, social injustice, rampant consumerism, indiscriminate application of technology, violence etc.--"the planet is in urgent need of caring stewardship." (Pope Benedict)

Although the methods may be different we know that we have a responsibility to future generations and do not want to mortgage that future by our present desire for the good life. Sacrifice has always been a big part of Lent and the responsibility we have for the earth should be accepted as a sacrifice for those that will be coming after us, a sacrifice that continues.

Maryknoll's "Twelfth General Chapter recognizes the world wide ecological crisis and encourages all the members of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers to reflect on how to integrate into our personal lives, our ministries and our Society, the proper stewardship and care for the earth."

In the Catholic Times a journalist gives her plans for this Lent. It is going to require "joy in uncomfortableness," she writes and lists her resolutions for being a good steward.

1) Not to use her car but public transportation going to and coming from work.

2) Not to use one-time only products, instant and fast food .

3) Use detergents that are environmentally friendly.

4) Be careful in the use of water.

5) Not to buy take-out beverages but drink traditional brews.

6) To use alternate sanitary napkins.

7) To help the people of Haiti and get involved with opposition to the 4 river proposal in Korea.

A simpler life style is the direction that the world has to accept. The only way our words will mean anything is when we walk the talk. There have always been those who have made it a point to live simply but this is now a way of life that should not be only for Lent and the enlightened, but for all. To merely send some of our money to those in need, important as it is, is not the only and the most important way of helping those who are now the greater part of human kind

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