In the ups and downs of life there are many events which are not in our control, where we can only put our hope in God. In this meditation we use texts of Scripture and Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical Saved by hope to put our life on a sure foundation. We consider that:
The foundation of our hope is God, who is always with us.
Our hope in God enables us to find peace and joy even amidst the uncertainties and sufferings of life.
The ultimate object of our hope is eternal life with God in heaven.
We can grow in hope through prayer in its various forms.
Mary, our Mother, is our hope: she brings us hope in the person of Jesus, she lives hope herself in many moments, and she intercedes powerfully for us in heaven.
Many people look on death with dread, as the sad ending of it all. With Christian faith we look on it very differently, as our final journey home to eternal life with God. Our Lord has told us that he has gone ahead to prepare a room for us in the Father’s house (cf. John 14: 2-3). This is what awaits us if we live and die well. In this meditation we consider:
The Christian meaning of life and death
The many passages of the Bible that speak to us of our preparation for eternal life with God
The need to be prepared at every moment to meet Our Lord
The importance of storing up treasure in heaven, not on earth
Charity, as St Paul writes, is the greatest of the virtues (cf. 1 Cor 13: 13) but it is also one of the hardest to live. A big help in being more kind and generous is to see Christ in everyone around us. In this meditation we consider how:
Christ taught us that whatever we do to the least of our brethren we do to him (cf. Mt 25:40).
Our Lord showed us by his example how to love others and he gave us the New Commandment to love others as he has loved us (John 13:34).
We love others because God first loved us (cf. 1 John 4:19).
Life can be like a jigsaw puzzle. With each of our actions we put another piece in place and at the end of our life we will see the finished picture, the beautiful work of art God intended for us or the discordant one we have made by our failings. In this meditation we consider:
Living our life well is creating a true work of art, practising the art of holiness.
God has a plan for each moment of our life and doing what he wants is putting one more piece of the puzzle in its proper place.
While each action can seem unimportant in itself, it is very important in the overall picture of our life.
If we make a wrong choice, the finished picture will lack the harmony and beauty God wants for us.
The dark pieces – sickness, hardship, setbacks – are part of the beauty of God’s design for us.
Only at the end of our life will we see the finished picture we have made by our daily actions.
A pearl was a sought after jewel in the time of Christ, hence considered of great value.
Our Lord uses many parables to explain the kingdom of God, among them that of the merchant who finds a pearl of great price and goes and sells all he owns to buy it. For us that pearl is our faith in God, the light that gives meaning to our existence, that shows us the way to happiness both here and hereafter. In this meditation we consider:
When on Good Friday Jesus looked at Peter after his three denials, Peter went out and wept bitterly. We too have offended Christ by our sins and we can learn from Peter to be sorry for them. In this meditation we consider:
The value of contemplating Jesus’ sorrowful face in order to be moved to true sorrow for our sins
The spirit of penance: contrition with the resolution to try not to sin again
The sacrament of penance: the importance of receiving this sacrament of mercy regularly and of helping others to do so
The acts of penance: why we need them and what we can do to make up for our sins