Love for the priesthood

Icon of Christ the eternal high priest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We can sometimes take our priests for granted, or even complain about them. In this meditation we look at what our priests do for us and how we can help them. We consider:

  • Jesus Christ, the eternal high priest, instituted the priesthood to continue his priestly ministry down the ages
  • Priests do so much for us: celebrating the sacrifice of the Mass in order to offer this pure sacrifice to the Father, to leave Christ in the tabernacle and give him to us in holy Communion; forgiving our sins, anointing us when we are in danger of death, teaching us the faith…
  • St John Vianney, the Cure of Ars, has beautiful things to say about the priesthood
  • St John Paul II wrote wonderfully about what people expect from priests
  • We should give thanks for our priests and pray for them so that they will be holy and faithful
  • We should pray too for seminarians, for young men considering a priestly vocation and for families, the seedbed of vocations

The power of the rosary

Our Lady of the Rosary

Our Lady asked the children at Fatima in 1917 to pray the rosary each day. We would all do well to heed that request, if only because it pleases our Mother. But we benefit too from praying the rosary, which is a very powerful prayer. In this meditation we consider how:

  • The rosary arose out of popular piety.
  • Our Lady urged us to pray the rosary at Lourdes and Fatima.
  • Many Popes and saints have recommended the rosary.
  • The rosary is a powerful prayer which contributed to the conversion of heretics by St Dominic,  victory in the battle of Lepanto, the collapse of communist regimes in the 20th century and the conversion of sinners.

Christ our Hope

Jesus Christ is our hope.

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.

Going home: the Christian meaning of life and death

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
  • Our longing to be with God in heaven

The art of holiness

Our Lord Jesus Christ with the the children.

St Paul says that God chose us before the foundation of the world to be holy in his presence. In this meditation we consider how:

  • Our Lord’s calling us his friends demands that we should love him and strive to be more like him.
  • The effort to be more Christlike is the struggle for holiness
  • We were made in the image and likeness of God but our sins tarnish that image
  • The work of forming ourselves is like that of the artist – it is the art of holiness
  • St John Paul II and St Gregory of Nyssa speak of the struggle for holiness as similar to the work of the artist
  • St John Chrysostom, like the Second Vatican Council centuries later, says that all are called holiness

Seeing Christ in others

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).
  • St Mother Teresa of Calcutta was truly exemplary in seeing Christ in the poorest of the poor.
  • Those closest to us have the first claim on our love.

The jigsaw puzzle of life

Jigsaw puzzle

God has a plan for all of us.

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.