“Blessed be the name of the LORD From this time forth and forever. From the rising of the sun to its setting The name of the LORD is to be praised. The LORD is high above all nations; His glory is above the heavens.…” Psalms 113:2-4
Welcome to the Carbon Fast for Lent 2016! For Anglicans, Catholics and many others, Lent is the time when we remember the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness, facing challenge and temptation. It is a time when we reflect on God’s purpose for our life. This year we challenge you to take a carbon fast – to reduce the actions which damage God’s Creation.
As we prepare for the Carbon Fast, we take time to prepare our hearts with a few actions that connect us with God’s Creation.
You cannot love what you do not know! So we will take time to connect with the sunrise and the beauty of God’s creation. Perhaps you feel ‘but I want to do something!’
Saint Francis had similar challenges, he wanted to serve the poor but he was also attracted to prayer out in nature. So he asked Sister Clare to pray about it and tell him if he should dedicate his life to prayer or action. After a few weeks she came back and said that he should dedicate himself to contemplative prayer but also be active in ministry. Francis was to go back and forth between the two as Jesus did.
Before Francis, “secular” priests served the poor and the community, “religious” priests went off to the monastery to pray.
Francis did both, he took prayer on the road; in fact, prayer is what enabled him to sustain his life of love and service to others over the long haul, without becoming cynical or angry.. For me, that is still the greatest art form–to “dance while standing still”! ( Adapted from Richard Rohr)
In preparation for the Carbon Fast for Lent, take a moment to watch the sunrise or the sunset, and fully absorb the miracle of light that is the rising and setting Sun.
Say this prayer to guide your day:
I arise, facing East,
I am asking toward the light,
I am asking that my day
Shall be beautiful with light.
I am asking that the place
Where my feet are shall be light,
That as far as I can see
I shall follow it aright.
I am asking for courage
To go forward through the shadow,
I am asking toward the light!
Mary Austin, Earth Prayers, page 337
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