Category Archives: Meditations

Meditations on the Catholic faith by Father Flader

The spirit of Advent

 

In Advent we look with hope and expectation towards the celebration of Christ’s birth at Christmas and his second coming at the end of time. But we can also prepare for his daily coming into our soul in prayer and Holy Communion and his coming at the end of our life to welcome us into eternity. In this meditation we consider:

  • How much God loved us in taking our human nature in order to redeem us
  • How from the earliest centuries the Church has lived Advent as a season of penance
  • How in Advent we can struggle to improve in the same three areas as we do in Lent: prayer, fasting and almsgiving
  • How through this struggle we clean out the stable of our soul so that Our Lord finds it a more worthy dwelling place

The Last Things

One day God will call each of us through the gateway of death into the next life where, after a particular judgment, we will enter into heaven, either immediately or through the purification of purgatory, or we will go to eternal damnation in hell. Meditating on these realities helps us to focus our lives so that we can be found worthy of heaven when we die. In this meditation we use the Scriptures, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the writings of saints to consider:

  • Death is not the end but the beginning of eternal life
  • In the particular judgment we will see our life as God sees us and we can prepare for it by being sincere here on earth
  • Hell is a reality and we should do everything possible to avoid going there
  • If our soul is not completely pure when we die we will be purified in the fire of God’s love in purgatory
  • We should pray very much for the souls in purgatory
  • Our goal is the supreme, definitive happiness of heaven, where we will see God face to face.

Devotion to the holy souls

Through Purgatory the soul must be completely purified before it can enter heaven.

Purgatory is purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

The Church dedicates the month of November to praying for the holy souls in Purgatory. This is important since many souls in that state have no one to pray for them. In this meditation we consider:

  • Why Purgatory exists
  • The pains experienced by the holy souls, along with the love and joy they experience
  • That Purgatory is a manifestation of God’s holiness, justice and mercy
  • Accounts of souls in Purgatory who have communicated with people on earth
  • How from the earliest days the Church has prayed for the faithful departed
  • The benefits for the holy souls and for ourselves of devotion to the souls in Purgatory

Love, sin and repentance

 

The parable of the prodigal son is mercy perosnified.

God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son, and Jesus loved us so much that he suffered and died on the cross for us. Jesus invites us to love him in return but we so often show him by our sins that we love him too little. In this meditation we consider how:

  • We cannot avoid all sins – even the saints in heaven committed them – but we can try harder to avoid sinning.
  • God expects more from us than from many others.
  • We should strive especially to avoid committing mortal sins and deliberate venial sins.
  • We should identify the occasions of our sins and strive to avoid them.
  • We should foster true contrition for our sins.
  • We should do penance to make up at least in part for our sins and to strengthen our will to resist future temptations.
  • We should strive to go regularly to the sacrament of penance, knowing that there God always pours out his mercy on us.

Hope in God

 

 

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.
  • Many passages in Scripture speak to us of hope.
  • 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.

 

 

 

Growing in fortitude

 

God is calling all of us to “go out and bear fruit”, to bring the truth and love of Christ into the world. In a word, to change the world for the better. But it is not easy. It is hard enough to change ourselves. For this reason we need the virtue of fortitude, which strengthens the will. In this meditation we consider:

  • Our mission to go out and bear fruit
  • The need for fortitude, for will power to achieve our goals
  • Some of the important goals we will find difficult to achieve
  • The obstacles we will encounter: the world, the flesh and the devil
  • How we can grow in this virtue

 

Faith in the Church

St Peter’s Basilica

 

The Church has been under fierce attack in recent months with news of widespread sexual abuse by clergy and cover ups by the hierarchy, leading many people to become discouraged and critical of the Church. In this meditation we look at the situation with eyes of faith, considering how:

  • In the history of the Church there have been many crises, some of them much worse than the present one.
  • The Church has always been made up of sinners.
  • The Church, as the Mystical Body of Christ, goes beyond the faithful on earth who make her up at any one time.
  • The Church is founded on rock and will last until the end of time.
  • The British historian Thomas Macaulay and St Josemaria Escriva examine the history of the Church and see an institution which has predated all other institutions on earth and will outlast them all.
  • Pope Francis has called on all the faithful to pray very much and do penance for the Church.