Developing a global conscience with the ‘Share Lent’ campaign

By Glen Argan
(From catholicregister.org of Feb.14, 2018)

The disciplines of Lent – prayer, fasting and almsgiving – are an exercise in conscience formation. Lent is much more than conscience formation, but it is that. Likely, however, most adult Catholics believe our consciences are already well formed. We know the difference between right and wrong, and most often we do the right thing.

Yet, ours is a complex world. Economic globalization and climate change make us complicit in activities taking place half a world away as well as in our own neighbourhood. We have a moral responsibility to respond, not only to the poor person nearby, but also to the poor on other continents.

That’s why Development and Peace’s Share Lent campaign is so important. If we pay attention, our consciences can be shaped to reduce our indifference to the global poor. In the global village, our consciences must also become global. Indeed, the word “catholic” calls us to be globally minded.

The mini-magazine produced for this year’s Share Lent campaign tells the stories of four grassroots projects in developing nations funded by Canadian Catholics through D&P.

The story that struck me the most is that of the Social and Economic Rights Action Centre (SERAC) in Lagos, Nigeria. SERAC empowers local communities in Lagos with tools to dialogue with government over the issue of forced evictions. For 30 years, the government has been forcibly destroying communities of impoverished people along the shoreline in Lagos. The goal is to drive out the poor so luxury housing, upscale hotels and office buildings can be erected on this prime real estate.

(For the remainder of the articles, please see https://catholicregister.org/opinion/guest-columnists/item/26821-developing-a-global-conscience-with-the-share-lent-campaign.)

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