At our March Faith Formation sessions, Fr. Bob Aubrey led a wonderful session with our adults, in which we considered the depth of God's forgiveness and mercy. As we consider the Sacraments of Healing, we must always remember that the Eucharist is, in fact, the primary sacrament of healing. This short reflection by Fr. Ron Rolheiser breaks this teaching of the Church open for us.
Lent in 3 Minutes
The Feast of St. Joseph is March 19
We've barely finished celebrating St. Patrick when it is time to remember another well-known (although less celebrated) saint of Church. Just in time for his feast day, this article about St. Joseph from US Catholic magazine gives us the history of the feast day and some ideas for how to commemorate it.
As the days become longer and the sun finally warms our portion of the earth, we are grateful for spring. We are eager to get outdoors for exercise and play. Some of us can’t wait to clean up our yards, dig in our gardens, and grow food and flowers. We look forward to vacations where we will experience God’s creation in different parts of our country and world.
While we eagerly anticipate the new life and recreation that accompanies spring, we need to be mindful of how we care for God’s beautiful creation. Pope Francis reminds us in his encyclical “Ladauto Si – On Care for our Common Home,” that we are all responsible to protect and preserve the finite gifts of God’s creation. Our beautiful home, the world, is everyone’s responsibility.
On our continuing journey through Lent, here are few things we can give up in favor of preserving our environment. Many are familiar suggestions and not new ideas, but have we actually taken the time to do them? Some options might cost a little more money or take a little more time or planning, but in the long run, the preservation and safety of our planet are worth the extra effort. And Lent is a great time to foster new habits that are healthier for our planet.
Invest in a few reusable straws and say “no” to the straw at restaurants. Most come with a little wire brush for sanitizing. It just takes a little planning to have one handy when you need it.
Pack your lunch in reusable containers. Ditch the zipper top bags in favor of containers you can use over and over again. There are also washable, reusable zipper bags on the market.
Pack reusable utensils with your lunch. Don’t buy any more plastic ones. If you’re afraid of losing your good stainless or silver ware, find a half dozen odd spoons and forks at a thrift store to use with lunches.
Take your own insulated mug or stainless steel bottle to the coffee shop. Many places will let you fill you own reusable drink container, saving on disposable cups (even most paper ones are lined with a plastic coating), lids, stirrers, and straws.
Take your own (non-plastic) bags to the store. Bags made of canvas and other sturdy materials work much better than the flimsy plastic bags, and they don’t harm the environment like plastic that will never break down. Many of us don’t even need to buy bags like this – we can repurpose totes we’ve picked up from conferences, home and garden shows, and other places.
While you’re at it, invest in some reusable produce bags. Those made of mesh work well because the PLU code can be seen or scanned through the mesh, they’re lightweight, and washable. Just stash them in one of your reusable grocery bags, and you’re good to go.
Try reusable napkins. You may already have some cloth napkins sitting around that never get used. You can also “recycle” old garments by cutting them in to napkin size pieces. Laundering these with your kitchen towels won’t add too much more work to your week, and it saves a lot of paper.
Walk or ride your bike when you can to save on fuel, wear and tear on your vehicle, and to get exercise. Try to share rides when possible.
Try wool dryer balls. Instead of using liquid fabric softener from plastic bottles, or dryer sheets that you throw away, invest in some dryer balls made from all natural wool. They help to soften and de-wrinkle clothes in the dryer, and they help to control static. As the weather warms, rediscover the solar clothes dryer – your clothesline!
Try to minimize what goes into the trash. Can you still use it? Could someone else use it? Can it be repaired if it’s broken? Can it be donated?
Try to pick at least one new idea to try this week. Then, maybe try another a few weeks down the road. It is OK to start small – just start. The world and future generations will thank you for it.
"What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?" (Ladauto Si#160)