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
Jesus told the apostles in the Last Supper that they had not chosen him, but that he had chosen them for a particular mission: to go out and bear fruit. God has created each individual for a purpose: to fulfil some definite part of his plan for the salvation of all souls. In this meditation we use texts of Scripture. St John Henry Newman, Pope Francis and St Josemaria to see how:
God has a particular plan for each of us, which only we can fulfil
To fulfil this plan we must first seek holiness, love for God which consists in doing his will
If we think ourselves unworthy and incapable, so were the apostles
Many great things depend on whether we fulfil the mission God has planned for us
In the words of St John Paul II “The history of mankind, the history of salvation, passes by way of the family”. Yet the family today is under attack in many ways. If it is to fulfil its mission, the family can turn to the Holy Family of Nazareth for inspiration and strength. In this meditation we use texts from St John Paul II, Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Pope Francis to consider:
The beauty of the Holy Family, model of all families
The attack on the family in today’s world
The vital importance of the family for the wellbeing of the spouses, the children and society
Some ways the family can model itself on the Holy Family and thus fulfil its mission more effectively.
The Church has been under fierce attack in recent months with news of widespread sexual abuse by clergy and cover ups by the hierarchy, leading many people to become discouraged and critical of the Church. In this meditation we look at the situation with eyes of faith, considering how:
In the history of the Church there have been many crises, some of them much worse than the present one.
Anyone who wants to achieve an important goal has a plan of daily activities to reach it: the athlete, the student, the business person. Our goal is the most important of all: eternal salvation, heaven. Our happiness here and hereafter depends on it. In this meditation we consider how:
We are called to love God with our whole heart and in order to achieve that we must spend some time with him each day
We are called to eternal life with God in heaven, the goal of our whole life
Like the student, the athlete, the business person, we need a daily plan of activities to achieve our goal
We can dedicate some time each day to such activities as mental prayer, Holy Mass, the Rosary, spiritual reading, reading of the New Testament, the Angelus, morning prayers, the examination of conscience, etc.
We can achieve this by having regular times for prayer spread out throughout the day
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.