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Dust to Dust

Ash Wednesday reminds us that "[we] are dust and to dust [we] shall return." These words teach us that, like the incarnate Jesus Himself, we are a part of God's creation and are in constant interaction with it. On Ash Wednesday and throughout Lent, Catholic Climate Covenant invites you to reflect on how you've interacted with God's creation, and how you can cultivate a more lovingly relationship with God, creation, and all people, especially the poor. 

As Pope Francis constantly reminds us, the best way to cultivate a loving relationship is to perform acts of mercy. “Nothing unites us to God more than an act of mercy, for it is by mercy that the Lord forgives our sins and gives us the grace to practice acts of mercy in his name.” The Christian life offers us the traditional practice of the seven corporeal and seven spiritual works of mercy. These works of mercy are concrete, meaningful, and manageable actions that we can take each and every day of our lives. Each time we perform one is one step closer to God.

Last year, Pope Francis added the care of creation as the eight work of mercy:

As a spiritual work of mercy, care for our common home calls for a “grateful contemplation of God’s world” (Laudato Si’, 214) which “allows us to discover in each thing a teaching which God wishes to hand on to us” (ibid., 85). As a corporal work of mercy, care for our common home requires “simple daily gestures which break with the logic of violence, exploitation and selfishness” and “makes itself felt in every action that seeks to build a better world” (ibid., 230-31).

This year, make your journey of mercy a journey into creation. You can use our "Lenten Caring for Creation Calendar" to help assist you, your family, parish, school, or religious community to be more mindful of the ways that our daily habits impact both “our common home” and those most impacted by our neglect. With daily ideas for prayer and simple actions to reduce our carbon footprint, the calendar is a treasure trove for the season. And with daily prayer and simple actions to reduce our carbon footprint, you can grow closer to God by caring for God's creation and the poor.

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