Reflect:

Jesus is transfigured before the eyes of three of his apostles. God speaks the words 'This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to Him.'

Pray

Thanks be to you, my Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits you have given me,
for all the pains and insults you have borne for me.
O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother,
may I know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly, day by day.
Amen.

(Prayer of St Richard of Chichester)

Act

God's words on the mountain ask us to trust him, to have faith in him, to listen to him and to obey him as best we can.  How can we do this unless we listen to him? This week set aside ten minutes each day to put yourself in the hands of the Lord and listen to what he is saying to you, in your life, at this time

Challenge
Following the principles of Laudato Si commit to trying to:

  • Change your shower head and tap ends to aerated ones. This will make a significant difference to energy and water consumption as they inject air into the water stream, limiting water usage.
  • From 15th - 31st March, Wigan is taking part in the Great British Spring Clean. You can enrol on their website to join a group of litter pickers or to receive support to run your own litter pick, individually or as a group. Have a look here to register or find out more.
  • Birds have started to look for nesting material in anticipation of the Spring. Could you provide a nest box or a suitable safe place for them to nest in you garden? The BTO has instructions you could follow.
  • As Spring approaches, thoughts may be turning to spring cleaning. Makes such as ecover may now have refill stations for their products where you can take along your empty container and refill it in store. Check out your local supermarket!
  • Go green with your laundry - Wash at a cooler temperature; use laundry sheets rather than capsules or an eco friendly detergent; dry your washing putdoors rather than by tumble drier.
  • This year try to find substitutes for everyday items which have little or no impact on the environment such as using beeswax wraps or greaseproof paper to wrap or cover items.
  • People are suffering throughout the world and in our own community. In what ways can we bring the light of Christ into their lives? Can we donate something to those less fortunate than ourselves? Or perhaps do something on a practical level to support them? In what ways could you become a guiding light for others?
  • There's often a lot of waste at Christmas time. Take steps to reduce the amount in your household. Can you re-use or recycle something? Choose environmentally friendly packaging and cards and even gifts. Consider how much food you really need to consume and maybe save the extra for another day, or give it to someone who is in need.
  • “The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites one family.
    Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. The earth is sacred and men and animals are but one part of it. Treat the earth with respect so that it lasts for centuries to come and is a place of wonder and beauty for our children.”
  • Advent is a great time to take stock of ourselves. Look back on the year and see what changes you have managed to make to be more environmentally friendly. As Cop 28 takes place can you take on board the aspirations of global leaders? Can we personally do more? In the words of King Charles III who paraphrased Chief Seattle (see above) ' The Earth does not belong to us, we belong to the Earth'.
  • People continue to struggle with the rise in the cost of living. Commit to making a donation of money or food to a food bank. See details on the various newsletters.
  • As winter approaches can you help someone who struggles with the cold weather? Invite them round for a hot drink or meal; help out at a local warm place; donate goods or monies to a local charity.
  • The world seems to be in torment at the moment through war, poverty, natural disasters and hunger. This week do something to support others in their struggles either at home or abroad.
  • As Autumn becomes more apparent in the beautiful colours of the leaves and the architectural form of plants make a place for those creatures who will be looking to hibernate - leave a mound of leaves to nestle under or a log-pile to hide in.
    If you are haveing a bonfire next week, check first that no creatures have taken refuge in it before you set light to it!
  • As the world's focus shifts towards the troubles of Middle East let us not forget that we also need to do what we can to support the forgotten people of this world. Can you donate something towards World Missions this weekend? Or could you donate items to the Barnabus Collection? Or do you have something you could offer to the Food Bank?Take time this week to appreciate the little, often overlooked things in our world - insects, weeds, a raindrop, the crunch of autumn leaves underfoot, the call of migratory birds as they set off on their journey....
  • Take the time this week to read Pope Francis's update to his Laudato Si encyclical entitled Laudate Deum
  • In the light of today's Gospel, is there something that you can do to show how much you care for the environment? Can each of us take a conscious decision to do what is right for the well being of our earth? As the season of Creation comes to a close, take time to watch the closing event:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmDvZucC6xY

  • 'The ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion… Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.' (Laudato Si 217 - Pope Francis)
    Make a conscious effort to protect the environment you live in. This could be something as simple as picking up any rubbish you see whilst you are out and depositing it in a bin. (Taking a bag to put it in can be useful !)
  • Recent decisions to preserve biodiversity and in making wealthier nations realise their moral duty to provide for financing for loss and damage caused by their industrial developments have been achieved by those with less power working together. Consider ways in which you could engage in initiatives which ensure that the global community become more mindful of the need to care for our common home.
  • Can we take up our prophetic responsibility in this time of climate crisis to speak God’s Truth to each other and to call each other to conversion and to ways of living within creation wisely, sustainably, justly, and reverently?
  • We are in the Season of Creation. Pope Francis urges us to “contribute to the mighty river of justice and peace in this Season of Creation … by resolving to transform our hearts, our lifestyles, and the public policies ruling our societies.” And he warns, “Economic  policies that promote scandalous wealth for a privileged few and degrading conditions for many others, spell the end of peace and justice.”
    What can we do now to transform our hearts and attitudes, to become more aware of the impact we are having on Creation so that life on our planet is more just and sustainable for all? How can we change our lifestyles? How can we raise awareness in others of the need for justice for all people?
  • Do we really need to buy those things we have in our basket when we go shopping? This week take a simpler approach to purchases by cutting out unecessary items.
  • PLASTIC - how much do we really use - cling film, bags, toothbrushes, bottles, pens, containers.....the list is endless. This week make a conscious effort to reduce the use of plastic in your life.Look out for ways you can help those in your life who are struggling. Are you able to offer your hand in support, just as Jesus offered his hand to Peter?
  • In keeping with this week's readings, try to be particularly aware of how you are using the world's resources, the gifts we have been given, by using only what you need for the day and not wasting the food we have been given.
  • Even though July has been a wet month, it is important for us to be water aware and not waste this precious resource.
  • Sign the Fix the Food System letter in churches this weekend or sign the online petition as linked above.Coming back to this country from abroad recently one of the things that struck me most was how much litter there is, dumped along the side of roads or dropped on pavements. It's easy to stick rubbish in a bin while you are out and about, or even just put it in your pocket and take it home for proper disposal. If each of us take responsibility for our own waste it will ultimately make a difference to our local environment.
  • Join CAFOD's call to protect the biodiversity of seed banks used by farmers by taking a couple of minutes to add your name to their message to the UK's Executive Director to the World Bank. - https://action.cafod.org.uk/page/117398/action/1
    Try to make a 'Hotel for Bees' - supporting insects is a great way to help the environment.
  • As the good weather continues across the country, be mindful of the wildlife that may be suffering from a lack of water. Fill a shallow bowl with water and place it in your garden for birds, insects and other small creatures to find refreshment.
  • As the hot weather spreads across the country, be mindful of your water consumption. Don't waste water needlessly. Use any excess in your bowl to water the garden.
  • Refuse plastic bags – bring your own when shopping.
  • Now is the time to plant seeds outside or to replant seedlings into larger containers or beds to encourage growth
  • Are you able to turn your heating down now that the weather is improving? Just a couple of degrees will reduce your power consumption  - and your bills.Are you able to go paper free? Can you choose to have newsletters and other documents emailed to you rather than have paper copies?
  • The weather is improving. Why not hang out your washing to dry in the breeze rather than using a tumble drier?How about building a bird cafe? Bring birds into your garden and give them a regular source of food by creatinga bird feeding area. Have a look at the RSPB website for ideas.As we approach Easter, take time to source Fair Trade Easter goods for your family and friends. These should have the distinctive bue and green logo denoting them as such
  • This week, try to make more journeys on foot rather than by car. Perhaps walk to school, or make part of your journey on foot is you have further to travel.
  • Looking at how we get about, do we use a car all the time? Can we car share more? Is it possible to use public transport more often?
  • Choose more sustainable food - reduce your red meat consumption by not eating red meat on two days this week. Eat simple food that are minimally processed and packaged such as vegetables, fruit, rice and grains.Ensure you do not waste any food. Scraps and leftovers can be made in to delicious soups or a quick stir fry.
  • The earth is starting to awake from its winter rest. It is time to prepare for a season of growth by planting seeds in pots indoors for onward planting outside when the weather warms up.
  • I came across an interesting recently website giving lots of practical ideas for living a more sustainable lifestyle. Take a look at https://livinglaudatosi.com
  • There is a shortage of sald items in the shops at present, but in reality, these goods are late spring and summer produce. How about buying food that is plentiful and in season and which has a much loswer environmental foortprint? Carrots, celery, cabbage, mushrooms, onions and many other vegetables can all be very tasty when eaten as a salad.