Home' Aurora : Aurora December 2013 Contents Do you long to get closer to nature and
reduce your impact on the environment?
Would you like your children to appreciate
the simple things in life? Have you ever
wondered how you could spring clean
your daily life and actually live a simpler
and more rewarding lifestyle? At this
time of year, many of us yearn for this
simpler life and a less busy existence.
Some great ideas and practical tips to
make these desires a reality exist at www.
littleecofootprints.com. The message
of the website is simple: "learning to
live better with less". This can often
be a great challenge in our technology
and consumer-driven world. Often we
need to re-learn how to live simply on a
day-to-day basis and realise that 'having
less' does not have to mean 'doing
without'. This change in mindset can
be quite liberating and making small yet
meaningful changes can have lasting
effects on ourselves, our family and the
The main search categories on
in one's mind the notion and ideal of
a simpler and more natural life: play,
grow, eat, create, know nature and nest.
Suggestions and tips are diverse and
range from letting kids invent, take risks
and create a childhood bucket list, to
growing your own food, making worm
farms, keeping chickens, reducing waste,
decluttering and making eco-friendly
cleaning products and gifts. There are
also timely charity gift ideas. This is such
a small sample of what is on offer and all
ideas are practical, will bring you closer
to nature, enhance your relationships and
help you build stronger connections within
The variety of articles in the "Inspiring
Reads" section means there are ideas
and suggestions to suit people from
all walks of life. The homepage is quite
simple and reinforces the overall message.
The photography is beautiful and tells
its own story. On perusing this website,
make a promise to choose one idea and
implement it in your daily life -- after all, it is
meant to be simple!
"The Church's best-kept secret" is a
title often applied to her social justice
The secret is currently exposed to
worldwide consciousness in the most
engaging and attractive way in the person
of Pope Francis. He has universal media
recognition for a humble, affectionate
embrace of the afflicted, the poor, and the
marginalised. His holiness goes far beyond
the personal piety of a prominent religious
figurehead. He embraces 'the leper'; he is
scathing of the widow-fleecing 'Pharisee'.
Bruce Duncan's book was published
just prior to the election of Francis. It
does, however, present an introduction
to the riches of Catholic social justice
teachings -- and therefore to the Christ-
like drive in Francis.
Social justice teaching and practice are
inherently scriptural, Jewish and Christian.
Fr Duncan draws on "astonishingly
powerful and assertive passages" from
the Hebrew Scriptures to highlight the
supreme breakthrough in religious
consciousness, the moral imperative: God
liberates, therefore we must liberate!
Jesus, the poor one, was the ultimate
teacher and practitioner of justice and
liberation for the poor. Those who take his
name know that social justice is "not an
optional extra but an essential part of the
Gospel message itself".
This aspect of Christian spirituality has
come to prominence in modern times
from the ground-breaking encyclical of
1891, Rerum Novarum. Successive Popes
have built on this foundation, responding
to issues arising in order to nurture a
worldwide social justice conscience and
From suffering and debate have
emerged principles which the Church
applies to social interactions. Fr Duncan
lucidly presents these principles and
their applications to various issues
--- working conditions; sustaining our
planet; Indigenous matters; refugees and
asylum seekers; the economic crisis and
It's a lively and colourful read. Fine
portraits are sketched of justice heroes.
Our wonderful Mum Shirl of Redfern is
sketched in company with Oscar Romero,
who took a bullet for the poor.
Colourful photos engage the soul.
Manicured, bejewelled fingers dropping
a coin into a dirty wrinkled hand made
Bruce Duncan CSsR Social justice:
Fuller life in a fairer world John Garratt
BY MICHAEL O'CONNOR
BY MARGARET WALKER
Aurora on tour
If you have a photograph
that you would like to be
considered for Aurora,
please ensure it is high
Our correspondent reports
spotting Aurora, moments
after the Loch Ness monster
disappeared from view!
CONTRIBUTED BY SR LOUISE GANNON RSJ
Through Christmas, God challenges
human values. Christmas is
about the poor, the homeless, the
refugee....about lack of pretence,
generosity, compassion, putting
others first, commitment. Unless we
can sense this spirit of Christmas...
there is no Christmas.
Jim Quillinan, "The Gateway to Bethlehem"
Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle www.mn.catholic.org.au
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