Simplify Christmas by Laudato Si[mplifying] your Advent Journey
“The Earth has enough for everyone’s need
But not enough for everyone’s greed.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
“Christian spirituality proposes a growth marked by moderation and the capacity to be happy with little. It is a return to that simplicity which allows us to stop and appreciate the small things, to be grateful for the opportunities which life affords us, to be spiritually detached from what we possess, and not to succumb to sadness for what we lack.“
(Pope Francis, Laudato Si 222)
Advent is a time of preparation. A time for creating space in our hearts and in our lives to prepare for the always new birth of Christ Jesus. This is not just the Jesus who was born over 2,000 years ago in a simple manger in Bethlehem. This is also the Jesus who is waiting to be born in our world right now through hearts of peace, hands of compassion, and acts of justice.
It can be easy to crowd out this space through busyness and buying. This Advent, the Global Catholic Climate Movement, invites you to reflect on the consumerism in our lives and in our culture by doing the following:
Make a commitment to Laudato Si[mplify] your Advent
Commit to making 3 changes to your normal holiday habits, following any of the ideas below:
- Follow the Advent Calendar of the Irish Bishop’s Conference which you can access here.
- Create a Reverse Advent Calendar: During each day of Advent, identify a personal belonging which you’ll give away to someone who might benefit from it. See more on this here.
- Commit a special time each week or day to pray: There are several beautiful Advent resources to deepen our ecological conversion through connecting the weekly Scriptures with the cries of the earth and the cries of the poor. See these resources here.
- Give to a Charity on someone’s behalf: like the Society of African Missions or GCCM!
- Practice the Advent pause: To break our consumerist habit, we need to become aware of the internal energy to buy more, eat more, do more, than necessary. Learn more about this contemplative practice here.
- Give a Gift Packed with Meaning: such as these beautiful wreaths from Green Mountain Monastery, USA. See this More Fun, Less Stuff Catalog for more ideas.
- Give the Gift of Time: Use the New Dream Coupon Book to give vouchers for babysitting, chores, dinner… you name it!
- Opt for “Less if More” Decorations: Opt for natural trimmings such as clippings from local evergreens and holly bushes.
- Save Paper: by wrapping gifts in newspaper comics, junk mail, paper bags, old maps, phone books, or other reused paper.
- Prepare Sustainable Meals: Use as many seasonal, locally grown, and organic foods as possible.
- See More Ideas to Simplify the Holidays at www.simplifyholidays.org
Have a blessed Advent.