by Sister Ann Marie Emon
I received a Lenten packet called Lent 4.5 Christian Simplicity. I was curious and excited as to what it was all about and I was instantly challenged to walk in the footsteps of Jesus this Lent. The new way of observing Lent was by protecting God’s creation, embracing gospel justice and nurturing spiritual fulfillment. I try to live a simple life. I think of my brother who would always ask me if I needed anything. Not what I wanted, but what I needed. We were taught that if you wanted a pop (only provided on special occasions) you could take it if you intended to drink it all. All pop cans had to be empty and of course recycled. He showed by example on how to live a simple life in a myriad of ways. Now I am challenged to go deeper to live a simple life acting on how to respect our earth and its resources.
The articles in the packet focus on a new way of observing Lent. Lent 4.5 states, “The earth is our home. It is holy ground. From the beginning, God declared it good. Now there is growing awareness that God’s planet is being damaged and its resources are not fairly shared. Caring for creation and living more simply are an essential part of faith for those who follow in the footsteps of Jesus today.” Weekly Lenten themes are presented as positive ways of making a difference.
These weekly themes include:
- Ash Wednesday – Christian Simplicity – fasting from over-consumption and living more simply
- First week of Lent – Food – Buying and eating food responsibly
- Second Week of Lent – Reconsidering our relationship to stuff.
- Third Week of Lent – Water – Conserving and protecting the sacred gift of water
- Fourth Week of Lent – Energy – Using energy resources more efficiently
- Fifth Week of Lent – Transportation – Exploring alternative ways of getting around
- Holy Week – Gratitude and Generosity – Discovering new ways of opening our hearts
Weekly Lenten themes in Lent4.5 pg. 4
If you do not have these reflections, I encourage you to go online and sign up for free weekly Lenten Reflections at www.lent45.org.