Mary, our hope

When we have exhausted all the human means to solve our problems and we don’t know where else to turn, we can pray to Our Lady, whom we call “our hope” in the Hail, Holy Queen. She is all powerful in her intercession before God and she fills us with confidence when we pray to her. In this meditation we consider how:

  • The apostles, after receiving the mission to go out to all nations, went to pray with Mary
  • Mary shows the power of her intercession at the wedding feast of Cana
  • Mary is our hope for four reasons
  • We pray to her for all our needs, especially the spiritual ones of bringing souls back to God and helping us grow in holiness
  • We can pray too for our other important intentions, including family harmony, financial difficulties, serious illnesses…

Holiness in ordinary life

Pope Francis has given the Church the Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate (“Rejoice and be glad”) on the call to holiness in today’s world. Today’s world is very much in need of holiness as it distances itself ever more from God, and the Pope proposes a way of holiness for everyone, for the “middle class”. In this meditation we use this document to consider how:

  • We are all called to holiness since God has loved each one of us and we should love him in return.
  • The Second Vatican Council stated clearly the universal call to holiness.
  • We do not need to withdraw from the world in order to be saints. We can find and love God right where we are in the world.
  • God has given us through the Church all the means we need to grow in holiness.
  • We can find and love God through the most ordinary activities of each day.

The joy of the Resurrection

The Gospels relate the joy of the disciples and the holy women when they saw Our Lord after his Resurrection. That joy can be ours too when we discover Our Lord in the ordinary circumstances of our life and we come to love him. In this meditation we use passages from the Scriptures, from Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation “Rejoice and be glad” and from St Josemaria Escriva to discover how to find the joy we all seek. We consider how:

  • Christ wants everyone to be happy
  • We will be happy when we find Christ and come to love him
  • We can be joyful even in the midst of sickness, worries and misfortunes
  • Cheerfulness is attractive and draws others to God

Mary at the Cross

When we consider the passion and death of Christ on the Cross we tend to overlook the enormous suffering of his mother Mary. Because of her great love for Jesus, Mary suffered unspeakably. In this meditation we use texts from the Stabat MaterSt Josemaria and St Bernard to consider how:

  • Mary was always united with Jesus, from his birth until his death on the Cross
  • Mary suffered in her soul what Jesus suffered in his body because her heart was one with his
  • Our Lady is with us in our own crosses
  • Jesus gives us Mary to be our mother and we, like John, should take her into our heart
  • Because of her great suffering, Mary can be called truly a martyr

 

Rich in mercy

The parable of the prodigal son is mercy perosnified.

     

    The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments abound in references to God as “ever rich in mercy.” It is good to remember this, especially when we are discouraged by our sinfulness or tempted to despair of our eternal salvation. In this meditation we consider:

    • Our Lord’s incarnation and his suffering and death for our redemption
    • His will “that all be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth”
    • His forgiving of the sins of many
    • His teaching on the mercy of God
    • Pope Francis’ reminder that God will always forgive us and his exhortation to ask God for forgiveness
    • Our Lord’s sorrow at the death of Judas

    Love to the end – the virtue of generosity

    St John begins his account of  Christ’s Passion saying that “having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” Our Lord goes on to give his disciples the “new commandment” to love one another as he has loved us. We too are called to love “to the end”, beyond what comes easy, generously. In this meditation we consider:

    • Our Lady’s generosity in her visitation to Elizabeth and at Calvary
    • There is a big difference among people, some of whom are very generous and others selfish
    • After we die, people will remember us for our generosity, if we truly lived this virtue
    • Scriptural passages in which Christ and St Paul praise generosity
    • Stories of generosity
    • Ways of being generous first at home, in the family
    • Ways of living this virtue with those around us

    Lent with Pope Francis

    In Lent we accompany Our Lord in his forty days of prayer and fasting in the desert before beginning his public life and in carrying the cross to Calvary before the Resurrection. In his Lenten Message for 2018 Pope Francis quotes Our Lord saying that false prophets would appear and the love of many would grow cold. In this meditation we consider how:

    • The love of many in our own generation has grown cold and we too may have grown cold in some aspects
    • Many have succumbed to the message of the false prophets of our own day, and we too may be tempted to follow them
    •  We can make resolutions to live Lent well in the three areas of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.