A couple of years ago, the Vatican introduced the Church and the world to Pope Francis’ new encyclical, ‘Laudato Si’ or Care for Our Common Home. Addressed to “every person on the planet,” Laudato Si’ warns of the dangerous changes the earth’s climate and ecosystems are undergoing. It considers the economic causes of the problem, decries that problem’s particularly disastrous impact on the world’s poor and offers a profound theological, moral and spiritual vision of the integral relationship between God, humanity and the created world.
In heading the call of the Holy Father and responding to the AOHD’s Lenten guidelines, BECs St Anthony and St Monica of the Gombak Zone of Good Shepherd Church, Setapak organised a hill cleaning project at Bukit TM, Wangsa Maju. Members of both BECs came together for a morning hike in the asphalt walking trail. The flora and fauna along the hike brought a refreshing change to the usual city environment that most of us call home. Needless to say, the unbecoming ‘tidak apa’ attitude of many patrons who toiled the trails left an unpleasant sight to the hikers.
After the opening prayer at the foot of the hill, the members hiked the main path, which is also the access road to the telecommunication tower while picking up trash all the way. The moderately steep concrete-surfaced road was sandwiched between garbage strewn by inconsiderate hikers. At the peak of the hills, the members stopped to pray and reflect on the Stations of the Cross and the Liturgy of the Hours. They also shared some light breakfast and interacted with each other before carrying the bags of trash all the way downhill.
“I think that the AOHD Lenten programme is very apt and can be easily adopted in our daily lives. Besides the customary Lenten observances of praying, fasting and almsgiving, social concerns are also addressed when we put our faith into action. This activity gave me the opportunity to care for the environment while being more conscious of my own actions in taking care of nature,” quoted one of the members.
The regular hikers gave the BEC members a big thumbs up for their efforts in spring cleaning the hill. The BEC members felt blessed that they could witness Jesus’s love to their neighbours through this simple act.
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By Charmaine Amanda