The parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector praying in the temple has much to tell us. In this meditation we use texts of Scripture, St Augustine, St John Chrysostom and St Josemaria to reflect on how:
We too should endeavour to pray before the Blessed Sacrament whenever possible
The Pharisee’s pride and self-righteousness make his good deeds of less value
We should never judge others the way the Pharisee did
The tax collector teaches us the great importance of humility
We should regard all our virtues and good deeds as gifts from God.
We are all sinners and we should ask God to forgive us, as the tax collector did
We should do penance for our sins and go regularly to confession
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.
One of the most beloved parables is that of the Prodigal Son, who leaves his father’s home for a life of sin, then repents and returns to a warm embrace and a big celebration. Jesus gives us the parable to tell us that if we are sorry for our sins, God our merciful Father will always forgive us, no matter what we have done. In this meditation we consider:
One of the great treasures of the Church, one which at the same time is sadly little used, is the sacrament of Penance, given to the Church by Christ on the very evening of his Resurrection. In this meditation we consider:
The mercy of God as seen in the parable of the Prodigal Son
Christ’s institution of the sacrament on Easter Sunday
Why the sacrament of Penance responds to deep seated human needs
Now that we are in Advent, we want to prepare well for Christmas. A good way to do this is by the hand of Our Lady. After all, she too prepared for the birth of Christ. In this meditation we consider nine lessons Our Lady gives us about how to prepare for this great feast: