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.
Jesus warned his followers on one occasion that they would be hated and persecuted for the sake of his name. Today this is happening on a grand scale, in part because the Catholic Church is the largest single religion in the world and in part because the Church stands firmly for what the world is against: the sanctity of life and of marriage, the importance of chastity, the rights of parents in the education of their children… In this meditation we use Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et exsultate to consider how:
The Church is being attacked for its stand on many issues
The world needs what the Church teaches in order to find the happiness and peace it desires
We must learn what the Church teaches and defend this teaching with charity and strength
We must seek holiness, “the most attractive face of the Church” in order to show the world the beauty of our faith and to avoid being swept along by the current of the world
Pope Francis has given the Church the Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate (“Rejoice and be glad”) on the call to holiness in today’s world. Today’s world is very much in need of holiness as it distances itself ever more from God, and the Pope proposes a way of holiness for everyone, for the “middle class”. In this meditation we use this document to consider how:
We are all called to holiness since God has loved each one of us and we should love him in return.
Many think only a few extraordinary people are called to sanctity and that it is sufficient for the rest to limit themselves to being good. But God has loved everyone and he wants all to love him with their whole heart, soul, mind and strength. All are called to sanctity and sanctity is within the reach of all. In this meditation we will consider how:
God has called each and everyone from all eternity to fulfill a mission
Christ loves everyone and he wants all to love him in return
To bear fruit we must be branches very united to the vine who is Christ
We are united to Christ through prayer, penance, the sacraments and fulfilling his will
St Josemaria used to say that if you want to be happy, be holy; very happy, very holy; extremely happy, extremely holy. We all want to be happy, and holiness is the answer. But what is holiness, and how can the average person in the world be holy? This meditation sheds light on these questions.