Take up your cross

Christ carrying the Cross - Titian

Christ carrying the Cross – Titian

With the occasion of the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross we consider how Christ invites us to take up our own cross and follow him. We cannot be soft and comfort seeking if we want to be Christ’s followers. Rather we must be strong willed  in order to be effective in bringing Christ to others. In this meditation we consider:

  • Christ’s exaltation on taking up his cross
  • His invitation to us follow him
  • The difficulties we face in the world, the flesh and the devil
  • The need to be strong willed and how we can grow in fortitude
  • The example of the Paralympians
  • Thoughts of St Josemaria in his books The Way and Furrow

Martha and Mary

Martha and Mary (Johannes_(Jan)_Vermeer)

Here we see Mary and Martha serving Jesus. We note Martha holding a basket with bread and Mary sitting at His feet listening.

We are all familiar with the account of Mary and Martha, with Mary sitting at Our Lord’s feet while her sister Martha prepares the meal. We too would love to sit and listen to Jesus but we are busy about many things like Martha. In this meditation we see how our life is essentially like that of Martha, but in order to be a good Martha we must also be Mary. Using many texts of St Josemaria Escriva‘s book Furrow, we consider:

  • The Second Vatican Council’s teaching that the role of the Christian lay person is to engage in the affairs of the world and order them according to the law of God.
  • We cannot waste our time but should be busy like Martha.
  • We should do what God is asking of us, not what we feel like.
  • We should work well, like Martha.
  • We should do everything for Jesus, like Martha.
  • In order to do this we must spend some time each day in prayer like Mary.

Witnesses for Christ

Christ sends the apostles

We are called to be witnesses to Christ. Here we see our Lorde sending out his disciples.

 

Christ has called all the baptised and sent us out to be his witnesses in the world, to bear fruit that will abide. If we are to fulfill this mission we must be branches very much united to the vine. We do this through our life of prayer, following a daily plan. In this meditation we will consider:

  • Our calling to be witnesses for Christ
  • How we must be branches united to the vine
  • The need for a daily plan of spiritual activities, just as we have a daily plan of meals, work, relaxation and sleep
  • The principal activities of this plan

The Good Samaritan

 

The good Samaritan is a great example of how we  should treat our neighbour.

The parable of the Good Samaritan is a good example to follow in this Jubilee Year of Mercy

 

In this Jubilee Year of Mercy the parable of the Good Samaritan has much to tell us. It offers food for thought on how we can be a Good Samaritan to those around us. In this meditation we will consider:

  • The question of the lawyer to Jesus on what he must do to inherit eternal life and the importance of the question for everyone
  • How love for God and love for our neighbour are related
  • How our neighbour is everyone around us, no matter what their religion, race or nationality
  • The example of saints like Josemaria Escriva and Mother Teresa of Calcutta
  • How we can be the Good Samaritan in our family and with strangers

The heart of Mary

Icon of the heart of Mary

The Immaculate Heart of Mary

When the soldier pierced the heart of Christ as he hung on the cross, the spear pierced the heart of Mary too. Her heart and his were one. In this meditation we consider how:

  • Mary pondered the mysteries of Christ in her heart
  • Her heart and his were united throughout their lives
  • Mary suffered intensely with Jesus at Calvary
  • St Bernard considered Mary to be truly a martyr
  • Mary loves us as she loves Jesus

Called to holiness

Christ calling the apostles

We are all called to sanctity

Many  think only a few extraordinary people are called to sanctity and that it is sufficient for the rest to limit themselves to being good. But God has loved everyone and he wants all to love him with their whole heart, soul, mind and strength. All are called to sanctity and sanctity is within the reach of all. In this meditation we will consider how:

  • God has called each and everyone from all eternity to fulfill a mission
  • Christ loves everyone and he wants all to love him in return
  • To bear fruit we must be branches very united to the vine who is Christ
  • We are united to Christ through prayer, penance, the sacraments and fulfilling his will

Sanctifying the ordinary

Sanctifying the ordinary acts of life

We can find God in the ordinary things that we do daily.

We can find God and grow in love for him not only in church, prayer and the sacraments, but also in all the activities of our ordinary life. In this meditation we pray about how we can do this. We will consider:

  • The life of the Holy Family
  • A homily of St Josemaria on sanctifying ordinary life
  • Ways to discover God in our everyday activities