Return to God This Lent:
Examine Your Relationship with Creation and Your Role as a Consumer

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.... (Joel 2:12-13)

Mercy Sister Elaine Wainwright, a scripture scholar from Australia, reflects on this Ash Wednesday reading as an invitation to restore our relationships with the whole Earth community.

Throughout Lent, as Sister Elaine suggests, we are reminded that the practice of fasting has an ecological face. For example, we might concentrate on our consumption of water and electricity; on where we obtain our food and who worked to harvest it; on how we can act for justice so that all the Earth’s people can access clean water, sustainable power, and local food.

This Lent, the Inter-religious Working Group on Extractive Industries invites you to return to God with your whole heart by examining your relationship with God’s creation and reflecting on your choices as a consumer. Specifically, we ask you to consider how your purchases may contribute to extractive industries – such as oil and gas drilling, coal and mineral mining, large-scale hydro-electric dams – that are harming the environment and vulnerable people and communities. To assist you in this Lenten journey, we offer the Jesuits’ ecological examen and a consumer examination developed by the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach.

NOTE: The link to the consumer examination will take you to a Google document. Because it is intended to be filled out as a worksheet, you will find it most helpful to download the document as a Microsoft Word (.docx) file so you can fill it out on your personal computer.