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
Our Lord has loved us to the last drop of his blood and water, and he invites us to love him in return. In this meditation we use texts of Scripture, St Margaret Mary Alacoque and St Josemaria Escriva to consider how:
St John writes in his Gospel that Jesus has loved us “to the end” and in his first Letter that “God is love”.
Our Lord asked St Margaret Mary for the feast of the Sacred Heart, in order to increase love for him throughout the world.
St Margaret writes in a letter about the three streams that pour out from the heart of Christ.
We can grow in love for God and our neighbour in practical ways.
The Holy Spirit, also called the Paraclete, is often depicted by a dove
The prophet Isaiah introduces us to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which are very important helps in living our spiritual life to the full. In this meditation we use texts of Sacred Scripture to consider:
The nature and role of the gifts
How they differ from the virtues
How each one of the seven gifts helps us in a particular way
From the moment she conceived Jesus in her womb, Mary became the mother of his Mystical Body, the Church, and of all of us. In this meditation we use texts from Sacred Scripture, Pope St John Paul II, Pope St Paul VI, St Josemaria Escriva and St Bernard to consider how:
Mary gave birth to Jesus and to the Church in Bethlehem
From the Cross at Calvary, Jesus gave Mary to St John, and to each one of us, as our mother
Because of the pain she suffered when Christ’s body was pierced with a lance and the Church flowed from his side on Calvary, Mary has a special love for all her children
Mary exercises her motherly role in many moments related in the Scriptures
We can show our gratitude to Our Lady and honour her through such practices as the Rosary, the Angelus, Marian aspirations and pilgrimages
Our Lord invites us, if we would be his disciples, to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow him. We do this especially in Lent but we should do it throughout the year. In this meditation we use texts of Scripture and of St Josemaria Escriva to consider how:
Jesus Christ, out of love for us, took up the cross in his passion and death, and he suffered more than we ever will
There are many reasons for, and benefits from, living self-denial
Self-denial is essential for holiness
We can live self-denial in many ordinary ways
We should accept in a spirit of penance the crosses life brings
Those who live self-denial find joy in this life and in the next
We all experience temptations. They are a consequence of original sin and of our being subject to the world, the flesh and the devil. But in addition to being sources of sin, temptations can also be sources of sanctity. In this meditation we consider:
Our Lord, Jesus Christ, giving the beatitudes during the Sermon on the Mount.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave us the eight Beatitudes, eight attitudes or dispositions that should characterise every follower of Christ, of whom they are a portrait. In this meditation we consider how:
The Beatitudes should characterise every Christian
After many months of work, I am happy to announce the proximate publication of my latest book, “Dying to Live – Reflections on Life after Death”. As you will see by clicking on the title, the book has been written primarily for people who don’t know what awaits them when they die.
It begins by arguing from reason and experience, and then progresses to the Catholic Church’s teaching on the question, which should fill everyone with hope. The book should be out in the next few weeks, and you can order it online at the link above, or obtain it from a bookshop. We all think this book can do a lot of good and I ask your prayers for that intention.
I trust that you will get some helpful insights from reading the book and I thank you for your support.
At the beginning of another year, we use texts of Scripture and St Josemaria Escriva to pray about what our goals and resolutions might be, especially that most important goal of growing in holiness so as to deserve 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 forever in heaven
We should make good use of every moment of the day since we don’t know how long God has given us on this earth
Many souls depend on the life of each of us
Holiness is a struggle, a battle, against the world, the flesh and the devil
We should have the determination of athletes, who discipline themselves and train hard to win a crown that fades, whereas ours is imperishable: eternal life.