Notes on peace and justice

A heron flies over the Guarapiranga reservoir in Sao Paulo during sunrise, Feb. 13. (CNS/Reuters)

A heron flies over the Guarapiranga reservoir in Sao Paulo during sunrise Feb. 13. (CNS/Reuters)

Lenten calendar offers fasts of a different sort

Lenten fasts can take many forms and usually involved food, time or money. So how about carbon?

One of the most interesting ideas I’ve seen is the Archdiocese of Washington’s Caring for Creation Lenten calendar, with ideas for adopting practical actions to lower your carbon footprint as a way to help protect the environment.

The calendar offers different kinds of fasting options, such as considering the cost of buying water in disposable plastic bottles to both the environment and your pocketbook or carrying your lunch to work in reusable containers. The ideas presented can easily be carried over from Lent into everyday life.

Also included are biblical verses on some of the days and quotes from statements on creation care from Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI.

The calendar will help people learn that the church has a wealth of teaching on protecting the environment and bring those teachings to people who may not be familiar with them, said Anthony Bosnick, director of the Department for Charity and Justice in the archdiocese.

“We see it as a tool for the new evangelization,” he explained.

Thanks to the staff of the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change for spreading the word about the calendar through its weekly email. Sign up here to receive it.

Connecting Sunday readings to the world’s marginalized

If you are looking to connect the Sunday Scripture readings to action in the world, the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns offers weekly reflections that help connect those of us living in an affluent culture to the realities of people living in developing countries.

Authors from Maryknoll’s worldwide network of missionaries and ministers offer their thoughts on the situations in which they live and the lives of people in their local communities. Current offerings take readers through the first several weeks of Lent, including Ash Wednesday. Some of the reflections throughout the year also mark holy days.

The reflections are written to create a better understanding of how people struggle against injustice with the goal of moving the reader to advocate for change.

The current listing of reflections extends back nearly two years and covers parts of the three liturgical cycles in the Lectionary.

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