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Fast from complaints, contemplate simplicity.

Abstenerse de quejas, contemplar la sencillez.

There is a famous quote, attributed to everyone from Elizabeth Ann Seton to Ghandi: "Live simply so others can simply live." If one Googles this quote, one also finds horrid photographs of starving children, viewed side-by-side, with photographs of various scenes of over-abundance, greed, and gluttony. Overuse of the quote or such comparative photographs can disengage the audience, rather than move one to contemplation.

The invitation offered today, with Pope Francis' suggestion for Lenten fast, is to fast from complaining, and reflect on, contemplate, the many gifts we have. And to consider how we might live more simply, so that others can simply live.

We in the state of Texas just experienced a catastrophic event: a 500 year winter storm, within a woefully unprepared utility system, put in place by another system made up of greed, arrogance, and a sinful disregard for those who struggle to simply live.

Those of us who were lucky enough to escape relatively unscathed, are in a comfortable position to quietly contemplate our good fortune. Others are not. We lucky ones might also contemplate how we might contribute to these kinds of situations.

  • Save water: don't overuse water, or - recycle water from dishwashing to watering a plant.

  • Save electricity: turn off lights; lower (or raise) the thermometer.

  • Buy only what you need: leave a package of toilet paper or a carton of eggs for someone else.

  • Offer hospitality: provide a warm meal, or a warm bed. Smile at someone; check in on your friends.

  • If you only need the plumber to tend to a "luxury" leave them for someone who needs a plumber for an emergency.

Fast from complaining, and contemplate simplicity

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