The Spiritual Olympics

Athletes go through a rigorous training regime in order to achieve their goal of competing, or winning a medal, in the Olympic games. The goal of Christians is much higher: eternal life with God in heaven, and we too need a training regime. In this meditation we use texts of Scripture, St Augustine and St Josemaria Escriva to consider how, like athletes, we need:

  • Determination, singlemindedness, to reach our goal
  • Commitment to training, involving regular times for prayer
  • Self-discipline
  • A spiritual diet of grace from the sacraments
  • A doctor to heal our injuries: the sacrament of penance
  • A coach, in the form of a spiritual director
  • Knowledge of the rules of morality
  • The support of others in the Communion of Saints

 

Christ the Sower

Christ gives us the parable of the sower, who sows seed on different types of soil, yielding different results. In this meditation we consider how we can all be, at times, each of the different types of soil:

  • The path, when we turn a deaf ear to Christ’s promptings
  • The rocky ground, when we begin something with enthusiasm but then give up because it was too hard
  • The thorns, when we are drawn away from God by the attraction of the world
  • The good soil, when we respond to God with generosity and yield a rich harvest

 

Growing in love through the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Our Lord has loved us to the last drop of his blood and water, and he invites us to love him more in return. In this meditation we use texts of Scripture, St Margaret Mary Alacoque and St Josemaria Escriva to consider that:

  • St John writes in his Gospel that Jesus has loved us “to the end” and in his first Letter that “God is love”.
  • Our Lord asked St Margaret Mary for the feast of the Sacred Heart, in order to increase love for him throughout the world.
  • St Margaret writes in a letter about the three streams that pour out from the heart of Christ.
  • Considering the immense love Our Lord has for us, we should endeavour to grow constantly in love for God and for our neighbour.

Mary, our loving Mother

 

From the moment she conceived Jesus in her womb, Mary became the mother of his Mystical Body, the Church, and of all of us. In this meditation we use texts from Sacred Scripture, Pope St Paul VI, St Josemaria Escriva and St Bernard to consider how:

  • Mary gave birth to Jesus and to the Church in Bethlehem
  • From the Cross at Calvary, Jesus gave Mary to St John, and to each one of us, as our mother
  • Because of the pain she suffered when Christ’s body was pierced with a lance and the Church flowed from his side on Calvary, Mary has a special love for all her children
  • Mary exercises her motherly role in many moments related in the Scriptures
  • We can show our gratitude to Our Lady and honour her through such practices as the Rosary, the Angelus, Marian aspirations and pilgrimages

Mary, teacher of prayer

The Second Vatican Council called Our Lady “model of the virtues” and we can learn so much from her. In this meditation we go to her as “teacher of prayer” to learn how to pray better. Using texts from Scripture and St Josemaria Escriva we consider how:

  • In the Annunciation Mary listens to what God is asking of her through the angel, asks about what she does not understand, and then immediately accepts God’s will for her
  • In her Magnificat, Mary praises God for his loving-kindness to her
  • On two occasions Our Lady ponders in her heart God’s providence in the events of her life
  • At Cana Mary asks Jesus with great faith to do a miracle
  • In all her activities, Mary lived in the presence of God

Faith and joy in the Resurrection

The Resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday fills us with faith and joy. In this meditation we consider:

  • The sadness and sorrow of Christ’s disciples after his death on the Cross
  • The various accounts in the Gospels of Christ’s appearances after his Resurrection
  • The faith and joy of the holy women and the apostles when they see Christ risen from the dead
  • We too go through crosses in life and can draw strength from them, knowing that God allows them for our greater good and that we will have a resurrection to eternal life

The Passion of Christ

Face of Christ in the PassionJesus Christ loved us so much that he suffered and died on the Cross to redeem us, to reconcile us with the Father after the original sin of Adam and Eve. In this meditation we follow the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary to see how Christ has loved us “to the end” and how we can correspond to this love:

  • The Agony in the Garden
  • The Scourging at the Pillar
  • The Crowning with Thorns
  • The Carrying of the Cros
  • The Crucifixion

 

 

St Joseph, Teacher of Prayer

Nativity scene iconSt Teresa of Avila called St Joseph “a master who teaches [us] how to pray. In this meditation we consider how:

  • St Joseph prayed in all moments and events of his life
  • We can learn from him how to find God in our work, family life, travel, recreation, etc.
  • We will benefit from having regular times for prayer each day
  • We can entrust to St Joseph our important intentions

St Joseph, great saint and powerful intercessor

St Josemaria Escriva calls St  Joseph “our father and lord”. We can learn much from this great saint and entrust all our needs to him. In this meditation we consider how:

  • St Joseph was chosen by God from all eternity to be the spiritual father of Jesus and the guardian of the Holy Family
  • God gave St Joseph special graces and virtues for his mission
  • Like Our Lady, St Joseph is a model of all the virtues and we have much to learn from him
  • St Joseph was the greatest saint after Our Lady
  • St Joseph is a most powerful intercessor, as attested by St Teresa of Avila, Pope Pius XI and Pope Francis, and we can entrust all our needs to him, assured of being heard

 

Living Lent with generosity

Living Lent with generosity

The word Lent comes from the ancient word Lencten, meaning springtime. If we live Lent well we have a true springtime, with new growth in our spiritual life. In this meditation we consider how:

  • In Lent we accompany Jesus in his forty days of prayer and fasting in the desert.
  • We respond to his invitation, if we want to be his disciples, to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow him.
  • We can choose something from each of the three traditional areas of prayer, fasting and charity.
  • If we live Lent with generosity, we will be much closer to God on Easter Sunday than we were on Ash Wednesday.

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