Preparing for lent and caring for garden of God’s world

Preparing for lent and caring for garden of God’s world
Living Laudato Si’

Our New Year resolutions this year may simply have been to get through lockdown as best we can. And that’s ok! Pope Francis does gives us a nudge however, in the address he gave on the World Day of Peace, January 1. He asks us to focus on one thing, to create a Culture of Care in 2021. Pope Francis reminds us that God the Creator is the source of our vocation to care and that this is also a call to protect the earth, our common home, and its capacity to support life. Pope Francis reminds us of the trust God has placed in humanity “to till and to keep” the garden of the world, making us guardians of all creation (Gen 2:15). He talks about the need for us to care through solidarity with others, care for the common good, care by showing compassion, reconciling with one another and being peacemakers. While these may seem lofty ideals, we know that we start at home with our families, cultivating kindness and compassion.

On February 17 Lent begins! Given the continuing Covid-19 restrictions how can we create a culture of care for our common home? Lent is a time where we examine our relationships with God, with our sisters and brothers and with Creation. It is a time to repent for the damage we have caused to our world and to look forward for ways to live more gently on the earth.  We can focus on three areas this Lent, in our families and faith communities. The first is the call to care through eco-conversion, quite literally a change of heart where our relationship with nature is concerned. During Lent we can all spend more time in nature, reconnecting with the wonder of God’s creation. Ask your parish if your parish newsletter could share quotes from Laudato Si’ each week so that families can reflect as they walk.

We also cultivate a culture of care through awareness. This Lent find out more about Trócaire’s Lenten Campaign for 2021 which focuses on justice and peace in South Sudan ( Think about how your family and parish can create a culture of care by learning more about the conflict in South Sudan and how the church is working in solidarity with people there to bring about peace. Our online resources have lots of activities for children too!

Finally, we can cultivate a culture of care through our actions, looking around our homes and seeing how we can make small changes to care more deeply for the Earth.

These are just some ways as family and as parish we can answer Pope Francis’ call to create a culture of care for our common home this Lent. “Truly, much can be done!”

Jane Mellett is the Laudato Si’ Officer  with Trócaire