Friday, February 15, 2008

Lenten Roses Blooming, along with Spiritual Commitments

I just spied a Lenten Rose in my yard, a heliobore. It is so named because it's about now that Christians begin their celebration of Lent, 8 weeks before Easter, often by taking on a commitment to abstain from something. This year Lent began on February 6th. When I grew up, a Jewish girl among a sea of Lutherans, I often heard about this, but no one put it in a spiritual context. It was just a weird thing that kids complained about.
As an adult immersed in spiritual community, I now have much more appreciation for ritual and spiritual practice. I am intrigued about how they can complement and add meaning to personal habits, especially around environmental stewardship. Feminist Finance is combining Lent with the The Compact, the commitment by a group of people in SF who pledge not to purchase anything other than food necessities for a period of time. They usually do a year, but in her case, she thinks she can manage it for 8 weeks. Great idea! I think it's really important to access the spiritual in the material. And of course there is an immense amount of self-learning in a discipline like this.
Any other spiritual practices people would like to share, or know of communities which have taken this on? (She is doing it as an individual - communities would be even better.)


Anonymous said...

Check out a related article in the Feb 6th, '08 London Times with this headline:

Cut Out Carbon For Lent Says Church of England

I love that they made a list of 40 ways to cut carbon with their day-by-day carbon fast ideas for Lent! An excerpt is clipped below...

"Cut back your consumption of carbon rather than chocolate during Lent this year is the message from the Church of England in period of abstinence before Easter. Two senior bishops and the development charity, Tearfund, hope to persuade Christians to take part in a carbon fast by making daily changes to their lifestyle throughout Lent, which begins tomorrow. The Lenten tasks to reduce energy consumption include the removal of a prominent light bulb in the home for 40 days and abstinence from the dishwasher for a day. Other ideas for energy-saving range from going without plastic bags and fitting draft excluders to leaving the car at home and eating local food. The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, who stopped flying for an entire year to reduce his carbon footprint, said that if all 650,000 Christians attending London's 4,000 churches took part, the impact would be significant."

C said...

I'm Catholic and during lent we sometimes used to give something up like chocolate then at the end donate the money we would have spent to a charity like Caritas or SVDP.

Giving up carbon emissions is a great idea!

Glickster said...

For more about Lenten Roses:

Unknown said...

meenal, I heard a radio story about that the day after I decided to do the Compact for Lent. I love that idea, too. Maybe next year.

Thanks for the mention, bpt!