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Monthly Action Points

We may dread making Resolutions, but without them, many good things don’t happen! So each month two Resolutions related to the theme of our website will be proposed, the first more contemplative, the second more practical. If you prefer, use your imagination to create your own Resolutions: mine are just suggestions.

NOVEMBER

  1. This month you may remember the dead. They have returned to Mother Earth who lovingly bore them and nourished them. You and earth belong to the same stock, the dust of ancient stars. You are earth walking on legs — an earthling, not an alien on the planet. Earth rightly claims you as its own. Don’t think of yourself as somehow being apart from nature and the environment.
  2. The prairie Indians tried to leave no disfiguring trace of their presence as they travelled over the earth. Try to be a little like them. Be open to their insight that everything has a spiritual dimension and that creation is sacred because the Great Spirit gives us life through it.

OCTOBER

  1. Winter brings cloudy skies. Clouds can teach you if you watch them well. They are, in Teilhard de Chardin’s happy phrase, ‘the calligraphy of God’. They keep changing form, shape, colour, and can appear as rain, snow or hail. They speak of fleeting beauty, impermanence, and can help you to accept that reality is endlessly changing. Become a cloud-watcher!
  2. Try not to be dismissive of those you dislike or disapprove of. Why? (1) With them you share a common origin in the Big Bang, and with them you belong to Mother Earth. (2) You share a common destiny with them and will meet again in the final community of love, when, like yourself, they will be at their best! (3) You share a common love, though you may not know it: like you, they are infinitely loved, no matter what. They are your sister or brother for whom Christ died. You have indeed a lot in common, so don’t think in dualistic terms of ‘us’ versus ‘them’!

SEPTEMBER

  1. Go to a Holy Place near you. Settle down, sit, watch, listen and reflect. Look at the stones, the water, the grass, the trees, the birds, the wild flowers. Notice the silence and the sounds, the play of light and shadow. How old is this place? Imagine it 50, 500, 5000, 50000 years ago. It was here before you, and will be here after you. Find your humble place in the sweep of evolution.
  2. Try to buy free-range eggs rather than caged-hen eggs. If hens and chickens could speak, they would protest at the way we force them to lives short lives in small cramped cages in windowless sheds. Listen in on a hen party!

AUGUST

  1. ‘To contemplate creation is to hear a message, to listen to a silent voice’Laudato Si Give time to taking long, loving looks at particular aspects of nature – a bird, a goldfish, a dog, a lawn, a flower. Let your love grow as you read the beauty of nature’s face.
  2. Compost the organic waste from kitchen and garden. This will reduce the amount going to land-fill, and generate valuable soil conditioner for your garden.

JULY

  1. Happiness grows as we simplify our lives. Other species are happy: we can be also! Let birds, cats, dogs and all God’s creatures teach you the secret of their happiness.
  2. ‘The earth, our home, is beginning to look like an immense pile of filth’ Laudato Si What must the other species think of us as we spoil our Common Home? Our little planet requires the right diet to get well again, so think of joining others who are working to clean up the local environment.

JUNE

  1. Try to be conscious of the fact that we humans do not own the world! We are visitors to our Garden Planet, and we share it with millions of other species. They only use what they need: ‘they do not gather into barns’. Try to resist consumerism.
  2. Simplify your life as much as you can. As Gandhi says, ‘Live simply so that others may simply live’. If you buy less, you create less waste and use up less energy – all to the good of our planet.

MAY

  1. Do a little gardening to get directly in touch with Mother Earth. Spend time chatting up a daffodil: ask it by what mysterious process it has emerged out of a small bulb. Let it tell you its story.
  2. Wipe the dust off light bulbs to improve output, and use energy -efficient bulbs as much as possible.

APRIL

  1. Spring reminds us of that first great flaring forth of life and energy called the Big Bang. Let its life and energy into your heart and mind. You too are part of creation and can share its vitality and zest at this time. Let yourself blossom!
  2. Buy locally produced foods if possible. This reduces the contribution of ‘food miles’ to what we eat, and reduces global warming.

MARCH

  1. Nature is waking up after the sleep of winter. Pray that the creatures around you may feel safe and protected, trusting that you are their friend.
  2. Turn off taps as much as possible, when washing your face, teeth or kitchen equipment. Drink tap water where possible. It takes much energy to extract, package and transport bottled water, and Mother Earth finds plastic highly indigestible. We humans are two-thirds water, but so are other living things, so save it so that there may be enough to go round.

FEBRUARY

  1. Nature is ‘a precious book, of which the letters are the multitude of created things’Laudato Si Let them speak their meaning to you. The sea may speak of strength and energy; the robin of courage in fragility, the moon of serenity and quiet beauty, the leaf of the processes of life, the grain of sand of the immense age of the world. Everything has its story.
  2. Feed the wild birds in your garden. A reliable source of food and water is vital for their survival. They will thank you by showing up daily!

JANUARY

  1. Cultivate the habit of becoming more aware of the beauty of nature. ‘The entire universe speaks of God’s love, God’s boundless affection for us. Everything is, as it were, a caress of God’ Laudato Si 84. Allow nature to caress you with light, wind, sunbeams, with bird-song and all other forms of her beauty.
  2. Simplify your wardrobe: if you haven’t worn something for a year, give it to a Charity Shop, and try not to replace it!
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