2018 Lenten Campaign

Lent2018 2x6 Vertical Banner MediumWe Malaysians love our food-feast! We have an incredible volume of food – we are blessed with abundance. However, with such abundant resources, Pope Francis invites us to count our blessings by realizing that “the world is a gift which we have freely received and must share with others.” (LS #159). This understanding is offered to us in his landmark teaching document Laudato Si (= Praise be to God) in which he invites us to praise God for all the blessings of creation – the whole of creation – humans and non-humans.

Deepening our gratitude for creation is a true sign of deepening our relationship with the Risen Lord. This gratitude enables us to appreciate our inter-relatedness with all of creation—water, plants, the smallest of organisms, etc.

With gratitude for the supremely generous gifts of God’s creation, we become stewards of Christ, responsible for the proper or right use of all created things, all of earth’s resources. This implies a relationship of responsibility for nature. Each community can take from the bounty of the earth whatever it needs for subsistence, but it also has the duty to protect the earth and to ensure its fruitfulness for coming generations” (LS #67).

“What kind of world do we want to leave to … children who are now growing up?” (LS #160). Pope Francis poses this pertinent question, and urgently appeals “for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet.” (LS #14).

In Laudato Si, Pope Francis invites us to consider the integral or intrinsic link of our faith with the care for creation. Therefore, “care for our common home” is our Christian duty !!

What better time than during Lent when we renew ourselves, not only through personal self-satisfying conversion but a conversion that involves our inter-connectedness with all of creation; and, therefore, it demands of us a responsibility to protect creation, to fast from a throw-away culture, to reduce unlimited consumption, to re-use and to recycle and replace ... and eventually to prevent the earth from further becoming “like an immense pile of filth” (LS #21).

Review, renew, restrain through praying-fasting-almsgiving – these are ways to discipline ourselves to limit the abuse of our resources, not to manipulate the earth’s resources for our selfishness, but rather to use what is genuinely needed – and not demanded by greed (cf LS #204). Let our prayer-fasting-almsgiving open our eyes to the needs of all of creation, our ears to the cry of creation.

Pope Francis has even given us tips for re-educating ourselves. “Education in environmental responsibility can encourage ways of acting which directly and significantly affect the world around us, such as avoiding the use of plastic and paper, reducing water consumption, etc. Reusing something instead of discarding it … can be an act of love which expresses our own dignity. (LS #211)

Hence, now is the time to change our “complacent attitude” in order to be “bold and creative in rethinking” (EG #33) our lifestyles of convenience and consumption in order to become more self-giving, life-giving people – and truly singing “Praise be to God.”

Fr. Bernard Hyacinth Arputhasamy SJ 
Director, Office for Human Development, Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur


Materials for 2018 Lenten Campaign