Rechristianising society

Christ sent the apostles out to the whole world to teach all nations. They went out and in just over three hundred years, amidst bitter persecution of Christians, the Roman Empire declared itself officially Christian. Christendom, a Europe with Christian laws and customs, would last for over a thousand years, and from Europe the faith spread to the rest of the world. Today, however, we see the erosion of Christian values all over the western world. Many people through up their hands in despair, thinking there is nothing they can do. But there is much we can do. In this meditation we use texts of St John Paul II, especially his Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles laicito consider how:

  • We must first live out our faith to the full, seeking true holiness of life
  • We must do everything we can to ensure that Christian values continue to influence public life in our country
  • We can fight for the dignity of the human person, for the defence of life from conception to natural death, for marriage and the family, and for a more Christian presence in the media and internet, in education, and in legislation.

 

The wedding feast of Cana

Our Lord’s first miracle at the wedding feast of Cana has much to teach us. In this meditation we use texts of St Josemaria, Tertullian and St John Vianney to consider some of these lessons:

  • The beauty of Christian marriage
  • The importance of inviting Jesus to our wedding
  • Our Lady’s motherly concern at Cana and in our own lives
  • The power of Mary’s intercession
  • The importance of doing whatever Jesus asks us
  • Jesus’ power to do miracles today if we ask him with faith
  • The witness of our own faith to those around us

The Holy Family, model of all families

 

 

In the words of St John Paul II “The history of mankind, the history of salvation, passes by way of the family”. Yet the family today is under attack in many ways. If it is to fulfil its mission, the family can turn to the Holy Family of Nazareth for inspiration and strength. In this meditation we use texts from St John Paul II, Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Pope Francis to consider:

  • The beauty of the Holy Family, model of all families
  • The attack on the family in today’s world
  • The vital importance of the family for the wellbeing of the spouses, the children and society
  • Some ways the family can model itself on the Holy Family and thus fulfil its mission more effectively.

The first Christmas gift

Nativity scene icon

 

 

At Christmas we have the wonderful custom of giving gifts to others. But the first Christmas gift came from God himself, who so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son  to dwell amongst us and redeem us by his death on the Cross. In this meditation we consider:

  • The Gospel passage of St Luke narrating the birth of Christ in Bethlehem
  • The Prologue of the Gospel of St John telling us who the Child born in Bethlehem is
  • The many benefits that flow from the Incarnation of God in Jesus
  • How we can show our gratitude for God’s Gift by welcoming Christ into our life, speaking to him in prayer, doing promptly what he asks of us, giving ourselves to him through those around us and sharing the Gift with others by bringing them to Christ

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