We are all familiar with the traditional Catholic practices of praying, fasting, and almsgiving during Lent. We may pray more, pray with different intentions, eat less or give up a favorite food or drink. We give more to our parish and other charities. These are all good practices for the Lenten season, but you might ask yourself, what needs to happen inside me so that I can practice these external activities with more intention?
As Vinita Hampton Wright from Loyola Press writes “It’s good to have a plan for doing. It’s also good to have a plan for being.”
In Laudato Si, Pope Francis calls is to achieve a personal ecological conversion directly tied to creation:
In calling to mind the figure of Saint Francis of Assisi, we come to realize that a healthy relationship with creation is one dimension of overall personal conversion, which entails the recognition of our errors, sins, faults and failures, and leads to heartfelt repentance and desire to change.
So to achieve a change within (that is, a personal conversion for this Lenten season), build on your praying, fasting, and almsgiving by asking God for the grace of conversion towards ecological justice and reconciliation, fasting from practices that are harmful to God’s creation, and giving of yourself to the most vulnerable among us.
Working together, we can help take care of our common home.