The importance of Friday, May 1st.

Three very Catholic events took place today. And they can help the mission of all Catholic ecologists.

May, the month of Mary, opens with the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. This year May 1st falls on a Friday. And that alignment can help us consider how to bring faith to our duties of protecting life on Earth. As always, the Global Catholic Climate Movement has resources and opportunities to do just that.

May is traditionally the month for Marian devotions. This is especially important in 2015 as the Catholic Church anticipates and prepares for Pope Francis’s eco-encyclical. This May, then, is a good time to add or increase the power of the Rosary in our lives and our efforts to protect life on Earth.

The Global Catholic Climate Movement’s prayer resources page offers Rosary meditations (for all four sets of mysteries) that focus on our relationship with nature. Share these meditations with others. Say them for your private Rosaries and in parish holy hours this month. Then let Mary take it from there.

May 1st is the Feast of St. Joseph the worker. That makes him something of a patron for all of us who, each in our own way, work to protect life on Earth. As a carpenter, St. Joseph added human effort to the gifts of creation and supported his family in the process. We, in turn, should add our labor to the created world to support the human family.

The Global Catholic Climate Movement can help here, too. The GCCM can always use volunteers—especially in these weeks preparing for the eco-encyclical and in the months before the international climate talks in Paris in December. Visit here if you’re interested in helping!

And finally, this feast of St. Joseph and the opening of the month for Mary fell this year on a Friday—a day of abstinence and penance. While many cultures and local churches have grown out of the habit of Friday abstinence, the GCCM is supporting its return. Especially the return of abstaining from meat on Fridays.

After all, meat is a resource-demanding product and the industrial operations needed to supply the world’s meat demands destroy landscapes and generate lots of pollution. Thus there would be noticeable impacts throughout the world if 1.2 billion Catholics—especially those in the West who consume the most—were to reduce meat intake (and all intake) by one day out of the week—which is roughly 14%.

So, there you have it: opportunities to pray, work, and abstain—all for the good of the world and the good of souls, and all at a critical time for the mission of Catholic ecologists.

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About the Blog

Catholic Ecology posts my regular column in the Rhode Island Catholic, as well as scientific and theological commentary about the latest eco-news, both within and outside of the Catholic Church. What is contained herein is but one person's attempt to teach and defend the Church's teachings - ecological and otherwise. As such, I offer all contents of this blog for approval of the bishops of the Church. It is my hope that nothing herein will lead anyone astray from truth.