Thank you for committing to this 30 Day Christian Green Living Challenge with us! Each day as we step through our journey, I’ll share the challenge for the day then, depending on your green goals, I will share resources where you can learn more, dig deeper into the topic, or challenge yourself even more. We will do the challenge once *live* together, but you can participate anytime by joining in on the comments below and by using the hashtag #ChristianGreenLiving. So, when you’re ready, let’s Go Christian Green!
“The objective of the Christian is not to accumulate more and more, but to love Christ more and more through his work and his family, as well as through material goods.” — Fr. Francis Fernandez, “In Conversation with God.”
“Effective detachment from things demands sacrifice. Any detachment which is not hard is not real.” This is how Father Fernandez chose to start the conversation on earthly “things.” Wow, he holds back no punches telling us exactly how it should be for Christians.
My house is full of too much stuff. Not quite hoarding level, but clutter. Busy.
Not too long ago, I went through a great desire to purge. It was not coincidentally about the same time I started reading Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment. In chapter 1, the Holy Father does a great job of describing the current status of the world and how “pollution, waste, and the throwaway culture” is causing great harm to the environment and to our less fortunate brothers and sisters.
After struggling with the decision, I finally decided to remove everything from our main living area and repainted the entire main floor in a simple, solid, neutral color. At the time, I had planned to redecorate with new things, but what I’ve found is that our living space seems more calm, more serene without all the stuff. Now, with only a few things on the walls (like a crucifix, Divine Mercy image, and some of my favorite artwork) I find myself enjoying and appreciating the few things we have so much more, without so much stuff.
Pope Francis and Fr. Fernandez both share with us why detachment from things is important for the world and for our interior spiritual life. Breaking free from the bonds of consumption allow us to value what we have, turn our attention to others and serve them through our love of Christ.
Today’s Day 7 Challenge:
Take a look around your home. Are there any areas where clutter accumulates? Are there things that you have been holding on to that no longer useful? Clothes and shoes that you and your family no longer wear? Too many toys or toys no one plays with? Do they help you love Christ and serve others or can they be distractions?
In your prayer today, offer gratitude for what you have regardless of if you have a lot or just enough. Ask Mary Undoer of Knots to pray with you and for you to help simplify your life both physically and spiritually so that you will be able to better serve others. Ask for her great intervention to help undo the complicated knots we’ve created throughout the world by our damaging over-consumption.
Evaluate your attachment to things and find at least one area where you can simplify your life and serve others. Too many clothes or toys, donate them to charity or have a garage sale so that they can continue to be useful. Spend a lot of time shopping for pleasure and not need? Try reducing your shopping to only what you really need and consider spending extra time in ministry or service.
Comment below and/or use the hashtag #ChristianGreenLiving. Have you already made a plan to simplify or is there a particular area you would like to tackle during this challenge?
- 12 Great Resources to STOP Over-Consumption —by DarleneGoesGreen
If you need a little extra help reducing consumption, this article can help too.
- How to Keep A Clutter-Free Home —by Shawna at stresslessbehealthy.com
Focusing on keeping a simple family home, she offers good tips to declutter and keep it that way!
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