Tag Archives | Lent

Catholics across Globe to Hold 40-Day Fast for the Climate

Kevin Dooley (CC BY 2.0)

Kevin Dooley (CC BY 2.0)

Sophie Yeo writes at Responding to Climate Change:

A chain of one-day fasts will sweep across 45 countries between Ash Wednesday and Easter, beginning in Peru and ending up in Botswana.

“We think it is very important that Catholics understand climate change and the importance of the UN negotiations in Paris,” said Ciara Shannon, who is coordinating a Hong Kong fast on 23 February.

The action has been organised by the Global Catholic Climate Movement.

Fasting carries a particular significance for Christians during this period, who traditionally give something up in remembrance of the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert.

It has also become a theme for climate activists, since Filipino climate commissioner Yeb Sano initiated a two week fast during the UN’s 2013 climate talks in Lima in protest at the lack of progress.

Campaigners are also holding a 365-day fasting chain, which began on the 1 December 2014, and will run until the 30 December 2015, when the UN’s climate negotiations kick off in Paris.

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Cleansing The Soul By Hurting the Flesh: The Guilt-Reducing Effect of Pain

Lent personified at a Carnival celebration. Detail of 1559 painting "The Battle between Carnival and Lent" by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

"Lent personified at a Carnival celebration" by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1559)

From ScienceDaily:

Lent in the Christian tradition is a time of sacrifice and penance. It also is a period of purification and enlightenment. Pain purifies. It atones for sin and cleanses the soul. Or at least that’s the idea. Theological questions aside, can self-inflicted pain really alleviate the guilt associated with immoral acts?

A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, explores the psychological consequences of experiencing bodily pain.

Psychological scientist Brock Bastian of the University of Queensland, Australia and his colleagues recruited a group of young men and women under the guise they were part of a study of mental and physical acuity. Under this pretense, they asked them to write short essays about a time in their lives when they had ostracized someone; this memory of being unkind was intended to prime their personal sense of immorality — and make them feel guilty.

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