Dan Misleh

Lent is our annual opportunity for renewal. For me, I change my daily patterns in anticipation of Easter, of spring, of new life and new hope. If I’m honest, my sacrifices are meager: giving up social media or chocolate or my 6 p.m. adult beverage.

But my prayer is renewed as well. I’m more mindful through the day, more grateful, more aware of my many blessings.

As Lent turns to Easter, I realize two things: how little my life is inconvenienced by those small sacrifices, but how increased mindfulness brings measurably more joy.

This year my prayers will include not only those suffering through the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but also the grinding poverty suffered by 2 billion of the 7.5 billion people on the planet.

I’ll be mindful that the partisanship in our politics and the divisions in our church are human choices, not even remotely God’s will.

I’ll pray that we respond to the late February report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — of the narrow window of opportunity we have left to truly address the climate crisis — with the urgency that this ever-clearer science demands.

Such a response is truly Lenten and truly Christian. We must come together as a church and a society to respond to those harmed by our neglect. We are indeed one human family and even a modest amount of reflection on this reality can help us change course.

Without exception, we are all children of a loving God, all brothers and sisters. We may find ourselves sometimes mired in muck but often saved by grace.

New beginnings are not only possible, but the thing God wants the most.

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Dan Misleh is the founder of Catholic Climate Covenant, based in Washington, D.C. Learn more at CatholicClimateCovenant.org.