Pope Francis praying in nature
Every Lent our faith invites us to pray, fast, and give alms. Of these three practices, fasting is the one we most associate with Lent. But fasting during Lent is not about denial or giving up a “guilty pleasure” like chocolate for 40 days.
The prophet Isaiah reminds us that the only kind of fasting worth our time is fasting that "breaks unjust bonds, lets the oppressed go free, shares our bread with the hungry, shelters the homeless, clothes the naked, and does not turn its backs on its own" (Is. 58:6-7).
In other words, the true meaning of our Lenten fast is to stand in solidarity with the poor and more justly distribute the resources of the earth. This message is even more urgent now because of our planet’s ecological crisis, which is caused by the overconsumption of the earth’s resources.
In this video, we discuss how to reclaim this aspect of our spiritual tradition and how we can practice fasting at the personal and the societal level to care for creation
Fr. Bill Morton is a Catholic priest and member of the Missionary Society of St. Columban. He is the pastor of Corpus Christi in Cd. Juarez, Mexico, whose parish’s northern boundary is the US border fence. Ordained in his hometown of Philadelphia in 1985, he has served in Taiwan, Chicago, Dallas, and since 1996 at the US/MX border. In 2006 he was forced to leave Mexico by a wealthy landowner who discovered he was supporting poor families in Lomas del Poleo, an area the landowner was trying to take possession of violently. After 11 years of ministry to migrants and prisoners in El Paso, TX, he returned to Cd. Juarez in 2017. Fr. Bill is committed to caring for our common home and has consistently tried to integrate environmental practices into his ministry and preaching/teaching. He believes that taking action to reduce our impact on nature is also a profound path towards spiritual growth and solidarity with all of us who compose this wonderful world.
Paz Artaza-Regan is the Program Manager at Catholic Climate Covenant. There she oversees the Creation Care Teams network and coordinates the Laudato Si' Action Platform in the US, among other projects. She began her career in the Environmental Justice office of the United Methodist Church. She has a BA in international relations from George Washington University, a master's in international development from American University, and completed the course of work for a master's in community and regional planning from the University of British Columbia. She is originally from Santiago, Chile.