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.
The Gospels relate the joy of the disciples and the holy women when they saw Our Lord after his Resurrection. That joy can be ours too when we discover Our Lord in the ordinary circumstances of our life and we come to love him. In this meditation we use passages from the Scriptures, from Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation “Rejoice and be glad” and from St Josemaria Escriva to discover how to find the joy we all seek. We consider how:
Christ wants everyone to be happy
We will be happy when we find Christ and come to love him
We can be joyful even in the midst of sickness, worries and misfortunes
Cheerfulness is attractive and draws others to God
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 Lent we accompany Our Lord in his forty days of prayer and fasting in the desert before beginning his public life and in carrying the cross to Calvary before the Resurrection. In his Lenten Message for 2018 Pope Francis quotes Our Lord saying that false prophets would appear and the love of many would grow cold. In this meditation we consider how:
The love of many in our own generation has grown cold and we too may have grown cold in some aspects
Many have succumbed to the message of the false prophets of our own day, and we too may be tempted to follow them
We can make resolutions to live Lent well in the three areas of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.