Formation in Christ

Christ teaching the apostles

Before the apostles were sent out to evangelize, he spent time in their formation.

 

 

We are called to live out our faith and share it with others, to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. To do this effectively in a society which is increasingly ignorant of and even hostile to Christian values we need formation. In this meditation we consider how:

  • Christ spent time forming the apostles before sending them out to all nations
  • We too are called to go out and help others find God and to make our culture more Christian
  • For this we need  a deep spiritual, doctrinal, human and apostolic formation
  • Pope St John Paul II writes of the need for formation in his Apostolic Exhortation “Christifideles laici
  • We can receive this formation in a variety of ways

A daily plan of spiritual life

vocal prayer and mental prayer

 

Anyone who wants to achieve an important goal has a  plan of daily activities to reach it: the athlete, the student, the business person. Our goal is the most important of all: eternal salvation, heaven. Our happiness here and hereafter depends on it.  In this meditation we consider how:

  • We are called to love God with our whole heart and in order to achieve that we must spend some time with him each day
  • We are called to eternal life with God in heaven, the goal of our whole life
  • Like the student, the athlete, the business person, we need a daily plan of activities to achieve our goal
  • We can dedicate some time each day to such activities as mental prayer, Holy Mass, the Rosary, spiritual reading, reading of the New Testament, the Angelus, morning prayers, the examination of conscience, etc.
  • We can achieve this by having regular times for prayer spread out throughout the day

Love for the Blessed Trinity

We pray to the one God and we sometimes relate to each of the divine Persons individually but how often do we consider the great mystery of the three Persons in one God, the Blessed Trinity? In this meditation we consider:

  • An argument of Fray Luis of Granada on how God communicates his infinite goodness in the Blessed Trinity
  • The indwelling of the three Divine Persons in our soul
  • St Augustine’s search for God outside himself when God was present within him
  • St Elizabeth of the Trinity’s beautiful prayer to the Blessed Trinity
  • St Gregory of Nazianzus’ entrusting of the Profession of Faith to catechumens in Constantinople
  • Simple and practical ways we can be more aware of the Blessed Trinity in our lives

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