Lent - A time of Healing

Fr. Ashley Miranda SDB

27 February 2023

Lent is a wonderful time of the year! A time to take stock of one’s life. A time of healing or making a new beginning. It is a time of repentance and resolutions. It is a time for honesty, a time to make amends, a time to make life changing decisions. Of course, Lent can be celebrated meaningfully only against the backdrop of the life of Jesus who taught us by word and action that the secret of a full and happy life is to live in communion with God, fellow human beings and creation. In the beatitudes he pointed out that one doesn’t need much to be happy and that ‘blessedness’ is a question of being and living in a certain way rather than a question of having many possessions and comforts.

During this season of Lent while we reflect on the quality of our relationship with God and our fellow human beings, we would do well to also reflect more deeply on our relationship with all of creation and ask ourselves whether there is anything in this relationship that needs healing. While we may be alarmed about the inordinate use of fossil fuels, damage caused to fragile coastal ecosystems, and plastics clogging our oceans and choking marine life, we might not be sufficiently aware of how we in our day to day lives may be causing harm to the environment and contributing even if in a seemingly small way to the abuse of nature that has become so much part of the contemporary consumeristic civilization.

Pope Francis has often spoken of a need for an “ecological conversion” understood as making changes in our lifestyle so as to ensure that we do not unnecessarily hurt creation and taking concrete steps to foster the ‘symbiosis and balance’ that is essential for nature to thrive. What can each one of us do this Lent to practice this ‘ecological conversion’ and contribute to the healing that our world so desperately needs?!!

To the extent possible, walk or cycle rather than use a car or motorcycle. Use public means of transportation, if available. Practice carpooling. 

I am sure, if one applies one’s mind to the concrete situation one is in one could come up with many other concrete things that one could do to protect and save the environment. The great challenge before us is, first of all, not to succumb to the temptation to spend all our time blaming leaders and government officials, rich people and foreign nations and then giving up in despair exclaiming until they change we are doomed!! The second challenge is not to allow ourselves to be deceived into thinking that we are too insignificant or too small to make a difference. The fact that we are just ordinary folk, does not make us insignificant!! Let us remember that , It is the little drop that contributes to make the ocean. The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first small step!!