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:
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments abound in references to God as “ever rich in mercy.” It is good to remember this, especially when we are discouraged by our sinfulness or tempted to despair of our eternal salvation. In this meditation we consider:
Our Lord’s incarnation and his suffering and death for our redemption
His will “that all be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth”
His forgiving of the sins of many
His teaching on the mercy of God
Pope Francis’ reminder that God will always forgive us and his exhortation to ask God for forgiveness
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.
Jesus walked with two disciples on the Road to Emmaus. The latter did not recognise him until later when he sat with them and broke bread.
On the first Easter Sunday, two disciples left Jerusalem discouraged because the one they hoped would redeem Israel had died. On their way to Emmaus, Jesus walked beside them and explained the Scriptures to them. These two in some way represent all of us. We too have our times of trial, of worry, of discouragement, and Jesus seeks us out, even though we do not recognise him. In this meditation we consider how:
We all have our crosses, our difficulties in life, which can make us discouraged or worried
Jesus does not leave us alone but seeks us out and walks beside us
We find Jesus in our prayer and in others who are there to help us
We too can be there for others who are going through difficult times
Jesus enters Jerusalem and is well received, a feast we celebrate on Palm Sunday–the start of Holy Week.
In Holy Week we follow Christ from his triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, through his institution of the Eucharist and the priesthood on Holy Thursday, to his passion and death on Good Friday and his resurrection on Easter Sunday. If we follow him closely throughout our life we will not abandon him as did the apostles and we will rise to eternal life with him when we die. In this meditation we consider how we should:
acknowledge our weakness and our possibility of denying Our Lord as did Peter
attend Mass often and receive Holy Communion well in order to strengthen our love for Jesus
stay awake in our prayer in order to draw ever closer to Christ
follow Christ closely, not at a distance, avoiding lukewarmness
avoid attachment to creature comforts and things in order to have our heart free to love God
take up our cross daily and follow our Lord in his passion
follow Christ closely throughout our life in order to rise with him to eternal life
The annunciation, the Archangel Gabriel telling out Holy Mother the good news of her being chosen to be the mother of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
On the feast of the Annunciation we celebrate Mary’s yes to God, which brought the Son of God into the world and our redemption near at hand. It was a momentous moment in the history of salvation and it all depended on the response of a young girl. In this meditation we consider:
Why we needed to be redeemed and why God chose this way to bring it about
The call of Mary and Joseph from all eternity to fulfil their roles
The eminent virtues of Mary and Joseph
The significance of the angel’s message to Mary
A prayer to Mary by St Bernard calling upon her to say yes
Mary’s response and our own promptness and saying yes to God