Lenten energy fast offers spiritual reflections, practical tips

What are you doing for Lent?

If you are striving to become greener over the course of the 40 days, one diocese has a resource to help out.

The archdiocese of Cincinnati has constructed a Franciscan Lenten energy fast calendar, offering spiritual reflections and scripture passages relating to creation, but more than anything, simple and practical ways to lessen the energy wasted each day.

The calendar, created by the St. Francis Pledge Team at St. Monica-St. George church in Cincinnati, focuses each week of Lent on a section of Francis’ “The Canticle of the Creatures”: week one, beginning Ash Wednesday, Brother Sun; week three, starting Wednesday, Brother Wind-Air; and week six, Sister Mother Earth.

The calendar also makes multiple references to St. Clare of Assisi, who followed Francis’ teachings in her founding of the Poor Clares community.

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On some days, the calendar offers a way to reflect on creation and its conservation, but most often, it provides a practical step to practice what you preach.

For example, the calendar’s Ash Wednesday entry challenged people to remove one light bulb from their homes and live without it for the remainder of the season. On Feb. 15, it suggested air drying a load of laundry a week, which could save money while shaving as much as 26 pounds of carbon dioxide off a carbon footprint. For Feb. 26, the calendar recommends turning off lights at home or at work in rooms where no one is.

Other upcoming days to note:

March 2: “Walk a mile and feel the spring breezes. Awaken your senses. What takes your breath away? Your walk will burn 100 calories.”

March 9: “Be a good friend to Sister Water and pledge to stop drinking bottled water. Save money, oil, energy, and care for creation.”

March 13: “St. Clare is the Patron Saint of TV. When you watch the evening news, pray the evening news.”

March 16: “Give up a personal electronic device or social media device (for lent or the weekend). Fast from the computer for one day a week. Unplug yourself.”

With 29 days left in Lent, there’s still time to join the energy fast, or even revisit past days’ reflections and conservation suggestions.

Have you already been following to an energy fast of your own? Use the comments section to tell us what you’ve done, or what you plan to do. 

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