On Holy Thursday we celebrated the institution of the Eucharist by Christ in the Last Supper, in what was his last celebration of the Passover. Even though In these extraordinary times of a pandemic most of us are unable to attend Mass, we can still be very united to the Masses being celebrated and so be, in the words of St Josemaria, “Eucharistic souls”. In this meditation we consider how:
The Jewish Passover was a figure of the Eucharist and it has many aspects that were fulfilled and made a reality in the Eucharist
The sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist flowed from Christ’s open side as he hung on the Cross
We can be personally united with the four ends of the Mass
We can make the Eucharist the “centre and root” of the interior life, as St Josemaria suggested, and so be “Eucharistic souls”
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:
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
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
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
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.
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.
It has often been said that the quality of our interior life is the quality of our prayer. In this meditation we use especially the Catechism of the Catholic Church and St Josemaria’s book The Way to consider how we can improve our personal conversation with God in mental prayer through such means as:
Saying slowly and with attention the words of the Introductory Prayer
Responding promptly to the initiative of God, who invites us to pray
Engaging in the “battle of prayer”, whether we feel like it or not
Committing ourselves to regular times for prayer and being faithful to them
Everyone loves Christmas, when we celebrate the birth of Christ in Bethlehem. In this meditation we use the Catechism of the Catholic Churchand texts of St Josemaria to pray about why God became man and the consequences this has for us. According to the Catechism, God became man for four reasons: