The 4th week of the Poor People’s Campaign carries the theme of The Right to Health and a Healthy Planet, focusing on Ecological Devastation and Health Care.
Keeping this theme in our hearts, there will be a day of fasting and prayer on Monday, June 4th.
The health of our bodies relies on adequate food and care. We fast in solidarity with the poor, who may not have access to either. The health of our environment relies on conscientious humans willing to clean and care for our air, water, vegetation and oceans. We fast in solidarity with our Mother Earth and recognize our role in both causing harm and revitalizing the environment. We fast in solidarity with those who face discrimination and hatred because of the color of their skin or their religion or their sexual orientation. We fast in solidarity for those who fear the other and see their fear turn into hatred. We fast that they may open their hearts and be transformed to love.
In Laudato Si, Pope Francis urges the necessity to, “hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” With this in mind, we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the country participating in civil disobedience by spending the day in prayer and fasting.
“Harmful habits of consumption combined with the knowledge that a third of all food produced is wasted prompts us to take action,” said Patrick Carolan, Executive Director for the Franciscan Action Network. “We begin with prayer and fasting to give us an idea of what it’s like for our poor brothers and sisters who have to go without food too often.”
“I am reminded of the words of Jesus to his disciples: some demons can only come out by ‘prayer and fasting,’” says Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, co-chair of the campaign. “So, let us pray. And let us prepare ourselves for the long work of building beloved community in the nonviolent way of Jesus.”