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Readings for Today

splash-of-water

Photo Credit: Ishmael Orendain//flickr

This Sunday is the United Nations World Water Day: A day to celebrate, a day to change, a day to prepare.

How powerful is that within the context of Lent? The theme for this year is water and sustainable development.

A day to celebrate: As Catholics we know how to celebrate with water. We baptize with water and bless with water whenever we can. Contrary to our sacramental view, an industrialized mindset has allowed water sources all over the world to be either contaminated or commodified. This value system denies water its innate worth AND is not sustainable.

A day to change: I once saw a video in which people walking down the street were asked, where does your water come from? People responded, “My faucet” or “I don’t know.” What I learned from this video is that in order to be sustainable in my life I need to recognize my unexamined unconscious assumptions and be more curious about life sustaining systems.

A day to prepare: One way the world community is preparing around water is by setting the goal of universal access to water and sanitation by 2030. Setting goals is important, but we know that preparing ourselves spiritually is equally important to the transformation of heart that will be needed to collectively achieve these targets.

Reflection Questions:

  • In what ways can we have a new relationship with water that is sustainable?
  • Can we be curious and ask ourselves, where does our water come from?
  • Are our hearts prepared to be accountable for the state of the world?

Susan Wilcox, CSJ is a Sister of St. Joseph of Brentwood, NY and runs the Campus Ministry Office at St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn. She has Masters Degrees in Education and Conscious Evolution. Providence House, a shelter for homeless and incarcerated women and their children helped form her vocation to religious life; working part-time for the Global Joseph Family at the United Nations broadened it and the CSJ Earth Matters Committee saved her vocation. She is a re-occurring character in a book titled, “Thank You Anarchy: Notes from the Occupy Apocalypse” (University of California Press).

2 replies
  1. Avatar
    Frank O'Brien says:

    To put water in its right perspective, we need to be creative.education, new gadgets, wise government. I could put on our community bulletin board a notice of where our water comes from, the local water system and its operation. This distant government in Washington is not serving us well concerning water. They would rather study and delay than do anything, except create monster impractical projects. Our government is so complex that no one is responsible for anything, continual finger pointing.

    We have days of fasting. Could we have days of personal water budgets, requiring shorter showers, managed toilet use, etc. but I don’t know how much industrial and agricultural water use there is? Could someone publish a link here to the basic facts about water Please.. Understanding is the starting block, rather than wringing my hands.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Ken Homan, SJ says:

      Hey Frank,

      Thanks for your concern. Here’s a link to a piece I wrote for today over on Thinking Faith. At the bottom of it are some links to places that have some of the information you’re looking for. I have more resources as well. I’ve noticed you commented on a number of the reflections. As one of the reflection organizers, I’m happy to chat with you about your concerns. Feel free to send me an e-mail at khoman@fordham.edu.

      http://www.thinkingfaith.org/node/1778

      Sincerely,
      Ken

      Reply

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