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Self-giving for Lent

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Self-giving for Lent

Samantha Drury | CEO St Bart’s

Lent means many things to many people. For some, it is a time for reflection and contemplation. For others, it is a time for renewal and refocus. For us at St Bart’s, it’s about looking beyond the traditional focuses of prayer, fasting and almsgiving and towards opening our doors wider to those in need.

Focusing on right relationships presents multiple benefits and opportunities to grow. It allows us to examine our faith and spirituality; review and, where possible, simplify our lives by prioritising better; sharing with family, friends and the community; and taking concrete steps to contribute to a more just and humane world.

While abstaining from chocolate, alcohol or your favourite television show all in the name of Lent is commendable, we should ask ourselves if this type of discipline benefits anyone else around us. Is there something that we can do rather than abstain from that can create meaning and change for a better tomorrow?

This Lent, we look to the seven themes of Christian social teaching for inspiration in how we can help foster social justice within our communities.

  • Dignity of the Human Person
  • Call to Family, Community and Participation
  • Rights and Responsibilities
  • Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
  • The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers
  • Solidarity
  • Care for God’s Creation

Our world today presents plenty of opportunities to perform acts of service, justice and kindness based on the above teachings. Writing to a member of parliament on the need to raise the Newstart Allowance is one example. Supporting the Centre for Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Detainees is another. You could donate to St Bart’s, a Wildlife sanctuary caring for animals affected by the Australian bushfire crisis, or any number of deserving organisations. Something as simple as having a lonely neighbour over for a meal can also have a huge impact.

Whether they be family, a friend, a neighbour or a complete stranger, every person we come into contact with is a gift. By recognising the value in others and that everyone deserves acceptance and respect, we ultimately open our hearts to greater connection and valuable life lessons.

As the new CEO of St Bart’s, I look forward to working on the wonderful relationship we have built with the Anglican community, and coming together in our vision for a world where everyone has a home.

For more information on St Bart’s services, please visit stbarts.org.au or get in touch with us by calling 9323 5100.

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