This blog is written by Rachel McCarthy who works in the CAFOD Theology Programme. It is the first of a series inviting you to share your joys and hopes, and to pray for people living in poverty at Lent.
As we journey through Lent, take time to reflect on your joys, hopes, concerns and inspirations by keeping a hope journal. In a spirit of solidarity, we hold in our prayers the joys and hopes of our global family.
2015 is the 50th anniversary of Gaudium et Spes. We are called to share the “joys and hopes, the griefs and the anxieties” of our global neighbours, especially those who are living in poverty.
Sharing in the joys and griefs of our neighbours
We reflect on the joys, hopes, griefs and anxieties of the people of Myanmar. In May 2008, Cyclone Nargis ripped through mainland Myanmar – formerly known as Burma – killing nearly 140,000 people and causing £6 billion in damage.
U Than Win, a Community Leader, took shelter with his family in a nearby church when the cyclone hit. He said, “I suffered Nargis and now there is no rain.”
A changing climate and extreme weather are making it harder for U Than Win to grow crops and support his family.
Khin Then Hte has also faced many challenges, but she holds out hope. She says, “I hold hopes for my children. I want to stay with them and for them to do well in the future.”
This Lent, we pray that by God’s grace, we may open our hearts to the hopes and griefs of our global neighbours, and look together to a future of hope.
What are your joys and hopes this Lent?
For me, joy is the smile of a baby and daffodils starting to push through the earth. I hope for the joy of Easter and a more just world. I am concerned for U Than Win and his community, who don’t know when the next storm may hit.
But for all our concerns, especially those of our neighbours living in poverty, I hope that the Lord will turn our sorrow into dancing.
What are your joys and hopes? Please share your joys and hopes for Lent below – we would to hear from you.
Watch our Lent reflection to help inspire you.