Editor’s note: In this series, Elizabeth Varga will explore how fasting from meat impacts our relationships with self, others, the rest of creation and God. Her reflections and recipes will be posted on the Wednesdays and Fridays of Lent 2022. To receive this series via email, sign up for EarthBeat Reflections.
We are called to love and honor God, but what does that really mean?
The prologue to the Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength … All Christ‘s faithful are called to hand on [the faith] from generation to generation, by professing the faith, by living it in fraternal sharing, and by celebrating it in liturgy and prayer.”
We are instructed to profess the faith — acknowledge that we are faithful and that we believe in God — and to live the faith. And that can be expressed in different ways. There are many charisms, religious orders and spiritual practices that are right and good.
A particular way we can love and honor God is by caring for ourselves, other people and the rest of creation, specifically through our dietary choices.
Personally, I show love of God by taking care of my body, loving myself and treating myself with respect, by cherishing my body as the gift it is and choosing foods that nourish my body.
I show love of God by caring for other people, helping to feed the hungry and ensure that every single human has food and water by selecting foods that require less land and energy for growth.
I show love of God by honoring God‘s initial instruction to humankind to protect the Earth, by making choices every day that help preserve creation, especially by choosing foods that are as minimally destructive to the environment as possible.
God gave us these four relationships: relationship with God, relationship with ourselves, relationship with others, and relationship with creation. So let‘s honor God by intentionally tending to these relationships every day.
We don’t‘t have to feel shame about our present or past. No matter what your current experience is with these four relationships, I simply invite you to consider these relationships and how you can make decisions today to improve them in the future. What small steps (or maybe large changes) can you take toward bettering these four relationships?
Recipe: Mushroom lentil stew
Vegan mushroom lentil stew is a hearty, flavorful dish that‘s ready in just 40 minutes. Made with lentils, mushrooms, carrots and some spices, this dish is simple yet still packed with protein and fiber.
- 16 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 large carrots, finely chopped
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cup green lentils
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
- salt, to taste
- Sauté the mushrooms, onions and carrots in a large pot for 5–7 minutes, until they are soft. Use a splash of vegetable broth if necessary to prevent sticking.
- Add the broth, water, lentils, sage and thyme. Bring to a boil then let simmer 20 minutes, until the lentils are cooked.
- Remove from the heat, serve and enjoy!
Find recipe notes, substitutions, and other nutritional information on atelizabethstable.com.