Spirit of Simplicity
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A 40-Day Guide for Lent and Easter
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These brief sayings include lectionary readings (Sundays and Holy Week), old sayings, facts & statistics, Old & New Testament, modern prophets & other voices, bumper stickers & billboards.
Discuss and meditate on each one, even the familiar ones. How does it relate to our lives in this season?
1- Ash Wednesday. Read and reflect on Psalm 51: 1-17; Matt. 6:1-6, 16-21.
2- The world's 225 richest people have a combined wealth of over $1 trillion, equal to the annual income of the poorest 47% of the world's people (2.5 billion). -Ministry of Money
3- The one who had much did not have too much, and the one who had little did not have too little. -II Corinthians 8:15.
4- Fight prime time... read a book. -bumper sticker
1st Sunday in Lent. Read and reflect on Luke 4:1-13.
5- Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without. -Shaker aphorism
6- There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less. -G.K. Chesterton
7- In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations. -from the Great Law of the Iroquois Confederation
8- And Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to till it and keep it. ("to work it and take care of it.") -Genesis 2:15
9- The only ones among you who will be truly happy are those who have sought and found how to serve. -Albert Schweitzer
10- Let's take care of our bodies and the Earth. Support organic farmers. -bumper sticker
2nd Sunday in Lent. Read and reflect on Luke 13:31-35.
11- Americans alone have used up more of the Earth's mineral resources since 1940, than all previous peoples put together. -Sustainable Communities from Vision to Action
12- Someday our grandchildren will very likely look back at the individual, selfish control of the wealth of the world, by a small elite, the same way we view slavery today. -Corinne Mclaughlin and Gordon Davidson
13- If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. -Archbishop Desmond Tutu
14- For the love of money is root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains. -1 Timothy 6:6-10.
15- About 1.3 billion people still live on less than $1 a day, and almost 3 billion on less than $2 a day. -Ministry of Money
The world's richest 20% of people consume 86% of all the stuff and services produced by the global economy; the poorest 20% consume just 1.3%. -Believing Cassandra
16- Promote and use solar and wind power. Plug into renewable energy. -bumper sticker
The major problems in the world are the result of the differences between the way nature works and the way people think. -Gregory Bateson
3rd Sunday in Lent. Read and reflect on Luke 13:1-9.
17- Advertising serves not so much to advertise products as to promote consumption as a way of life... an unappeasable appetite. -Christopher Lasch
18- We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
19- We read the Gospel as if we had no money, and we spend our money as if we know nothing of the Gospel. -John Haughey, S.J.
20- The Lord of hosts is exalted by justice. -Isaiah 5:1
21- The wealthiest three people in the world have more riches than the 48 poorest countries. - Peaceworks
22- Paper from paper, not from trees. -bumper sticker
Any fool can destroy trees. They cannot run away. -John Muir
4th Sunday in Lent. Read and reflect on Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32.
23- All things are possible once enough human beings realize that everything is at stake. -Norman Cousins
24- As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world... as in being able to remake ourselves. -Gandhi
25- An authentic spirituality does not cater to culture; it calls culture to accountability. -Joan Chittister, OSB
26- No one can serve two masters... You cannot serve God and wealth. -Matthew 6:24 (also Luke 16:13)
27- Studies of US households found that the income needed to fulfill
"growing consumption aspirations" doubled between 1986 and 1994. -Ministry
Too many of us still raise children guided by the idea that each generation has the right to more material comforts than the one before. -Doris Janzen Longacre
28- My other car is a bicycle. -bumper sticker
5th Sunday in Lent. Read and reflect on John 12:1-8.
29- What we really need is to realize how little we really need. -Ashleigh
Where there is too much... something is missing. -Jewish proverb
30- We are rich in proportion to the number of things which we can afford to let alone. -Thoreau
31- The plain fact is that we are starving people, not deliberately in the sense that we want them to die, but willfully in the sense that we prefer their death to our own inconvenience. -Victor Gollancz
32- Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? -Ezekiel 34:18
33- Let us measure the success of America not by its number of billionaires but by the number who are not hungry, or homeless, or in need of medical attention. -Journey into Freedom
34- Insatiable is NOT sustainable. -bumper sticker
6th Sunday in Lent (Palm/Passion Sunday). Read and reflect on Luke 19:28-40.
35 Read and reflect on John 12:1-11.
36 Read and reflect on John 12:20-36.
37 Read John 13:21-32 aloud over dinner tonight.
38 Maundy Thursday. Read John 13:1-17, 31b-35,
39 Good Friday. Read John 18:1-19:42.
40 Easter Eve. Participate in an Easter Vigil.
! Resurrection of the Lord/Easter Sunday. Read and reflect on Luke 24:1-12.
Easter Evening. Read and reflect on Luke 24:13-49.
Spirit of Simplicity: for Lent or Anytime ©Creative Commons (originally 2000, Alternatives for Simple Living)
This 40 day guide, based on liturgical cycle C: Luke, is available in English or Spanish. Simple Living Works! continues Alternatives' mission of "equipping people of faith to challenge consumerism, live justly and celebrate responsibly." For resources for Advent and Christmas, Lent and Easter, weddings and other celebrations - some in Spanish - visit SimpleLivingWorks.org >> Archives.
Page update 3 Jan. 2014
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