Author Archives: frjflader

Holy Week

 

 

 

As we celebrate the important events of this most holy week of the year, we pray in this meditation about the significance of the events and how we can use them to grow in holiness ourselves. We consider:

  • Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday
  • The institution of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday to make Christ’s death on the Cross present through the Mass
  • The agony of Christ in his prayer in the garden where he suffered so much for us
  • The passion and death of Christ on Good Friday which brought about our redemption
  • The joy of the Resurrection

With Christ in the storm

 

On 27 March 2020 at St Peter’s Basilica in Rome Pope Francis conducted an hour of prayer broadcast around the world to pray for God’s help in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world. He based his homily on that occasion on the Gospel passage of Christ calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee when the apostles begged him for help. In this meditation we use Pope Francis’ homily to consider how:

  • We should trust more in God in all our problems
  • Christ is always with us and he truly cares for us even when we may wonder where he is
  • We can use the present crisis to examine our priorities and to choose what is of lasting value
  • We should draw closer to God through an increased life of prayer
  • In our difficulties Christ is sharing his Cross with us
  • We should reach out more to others to help them in these special times

The feast of the Annunciation

 

When the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary in the Annunciation, he invited her to welcome the Son of God into her womb and into the world. She said yes and our redemption was at hand. In this meditation we ponder this great event as related by St Luke and consider that:

  • Because of the original sin of our first parents, mankind was in need of redemption and only God could bring it about.
  • God asked Mary ‘s consent so that our Redeemer could take flesh in her womb
  • Because Mary was a virgin her son would be truly the Son of God
  • As the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, God took flesh in Mary for four reasons
  • As related in a homily of St Bernard of Clairvaux, all mankind eagerly awaited Mary’s answer
  • We too can welcome Christ into our life by saying yes to whatever God asks of us

Coping with Covid

With the Covid-19 pandemic rapidly spreading around the world, many people are worried and anxious. How should they react in the face of growing restrictions on their movement and activities and the uncertainties created when around them many are becoming sick and some are dying? In this meditation we use texts of St Augustine, St John Paul II, St Josemaria and Pope Francis to consider four approaches which should always characterise us when we encounter suffering:

  • Faith and trust in God, who has not abandoned us and knows what we are going through
  • Prayer, since God will always hear and answer us
  • Forgetting ourselves and helping those around us
  • Hope and Joy, which we can radiate to others

 

Prayer in Lent

Prayer is one of the three principal focuses of our Lenten discipline, along with fasting and almsgiving. In this meditation we consider how:

  • Christ himself gives us an example of fervent and assiduous prayer
  • Prayer unites us with Christ and helps us become true friends with him
  • Prayer can take four forms
  • Prayer requires effort
  • We can improve our prayer life in Lent in a number of ways

Living Lent well

 

Our Lord fasted and prayed for forty days before beginning his public life of preaching the Gospel. In Lent we accompany him in prayer, fasting and almsgiving to prepare for the great feast of Easter. In this meditation we consider how:

  • Inspired by Christ’s example, our prayer and fasting will help us overcome the many temptations we face in life.
  • When we live Lent well, we grow in self-mastery and experience the joy of the resurrection every day.
  • Lent spurs us on to new growth in the spiritual life and prepares us for our final meeting with Our Lord.
  • Texts of Pope Francis and St Peter Chrysologus show us the importance and unity of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
  • There are many practical ways of living each of these aspects of Lent.

Struggling for holiness

 

At the beginning of another year we use texts of Scripture and St Josemaria Escriva to pray about what our goals and resolutions ought to be, especially that most important goal of eternal life with God in heaven. We consider:

  • The very reason for our existence is to know, love and serve God on earth in order to be happy with him in heaven.
  • We don’t know how long God has given us to live on this earth and therefore we must struggle to be ready to meet him every day.
  • Many souls depend on the life of each of us.
  • Holiness is a struggle, a battle, against the world, the flesh and the devil.
  • Athletes discipline themselves and train hard to win a crown that fades, whereas ours is imperishable: eternal life.