Remember the Ember Days
This coming Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday are the Ember Days.
The Ember Days are an ancient observance and devotion --- already in the fifth century they were well-known and described as being of apostolic origin.
The Ember Days are observed on the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday following St. Lucy's day (December 13), following Ash Wednesday, following Pentecost Sunday, and following the feast of the Triumph of the Cross (yesterday, September 14th). Roughly at the turning of each season, we fast and abstain, and give alms, and pray, to thank God for sustaining us with the gifts of nature through the cycle of the seasons, to help us learn to use those gifts wisely and moderately, and to assist the needy.
We don't have to give up the Ember Days. We need them in some ways more than ever in our times, to remind us that our daily food doesn't really come from the supermarket --- it comes from our earth, from the hard work of farming people, from rain and sun and snow cover at the proper times, and from proper stewardship of the earth's goods by the proper use of the land and the water and the air.
So we pray, we fast, we do works of reparation and mercy. We remind ourselves that we depend on God --- not on Kraft, Nabisco, and General Mills --- to sustain us always.
(Thanks to CINJustAnn listserv for the reminder.... more info can be found at the Access to Catholic Social Justice Teaching site in the sidebar links)