The austerity of Life: Responsible Consumption (ODS 12)
An invitation from Claret and Casaldáliga
CLIP Group. Lay Claretians
Northern Region of Spain
1. From your life: What are we invited to?
We think that a minimum of well-being is necessary to practice virtue. But in the consumer society in which we live today, we accumulate too many unnecessary and superfluous goods.
We believe that austerity of life, responsible consumption, is an ethical requirement and a Christian virtue and as such it implies HUMILITY and CHARITY. We live in a revolution of selfishness in which western materialism reigns and we should change it for the revolution of love.
2. How do we put all this into practice?
· To live without ostentation, with sobriety.
· Contribute to diminishing the needs of the neediest.
· Do not greedily keep goods and profits but invest in development and social growth.
· To share gifts and goods.
· Collaborate in solidarity with those who have less.
How can we educate people to live in an austere way and to consume responsibly?
· On food: not throwing food away…
· When shopping: exhausting the life of things, not having repeated objects, repairing things…
· In economic relations with children: no excessive gifts or unjustified rewards…
As Pope Francis reminds us in “Laudato Si”: The austere man can and must have a full life and be committed to caring for the environment.
We see two ways of understanding responsible consumption:
· Knowing how to spend resources to make the best use of them, that is, austerity is not only spending less but spending better.
· Practicing sobriety and simplicity in our activities and expenses.
Today’s Christians must practice responsible consumption while caring for the environment for future generations. To take care of our environment we can make wise use of our resources: use less plastic, share a car, use water well… etc. Austerity does not only mean using less but using with generosity, care, and wisdom, so as to show our love for God, our neighbor, and the created natural world around us.
3. A proposal to live responsible consumption, the austerity of life
We think that the Northern Region of Spain of Lay Claretians, as such, is quite austere in its structure and in the acts it carries out, assemblies, encounters, visits to groups… These are necessary expenses that are developed in a quite austere way. We would like to focus the proposal more on the groups and communities of the Northern Region of Spain of Lay Claretians.
On the one hand, an invitation to generosity as the Northern Region of Spain of Lay Claretians, responding to the requests for solidarity that are made to us from the Movement itself and from Claretian environments. There are many needs and we contribute on many fronts, but let us be aware that we live in the first world and we are quite fortunate from the economic point of view and we have to assume our responsibility.
On the other hand, we invite you to maintain in our community dynamics moments of reflection in which we help each other to be aware of our role in society in which we have to be questioner in the face of consumerism and strong defenders of ecology and sustainable development. Without these moments we run the risk of falling into the charms of an attractive consumer society that sends us the message that we never have enough.
Among the members of the groups and communities, we can help each other to be in constant tension in order to maintain our goals and to face new challenges. At the individual level, there are many initiatives we can take and many clues and help to follow. For example, the Pope in the “Laudato si” is very concrete and so is the UN in the ODS of Agenda 2030.
Grupo CLIP. Seglares Claretianos
Región Norte de España