Tag Archives: Pope Francis

A daily plan of spiritual life

vocal prayer and mental prayer

 

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

Holiness in ordinary life

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 Second Vatican Council stated clearly the universal call to holiness.
  • We do not need to withdraw from the world in order to be saints. We can find and love God right where we are in the world.
  • God has given us through the Church all the means we need to grow in holiness.
  • We can find and love God through the most ordinary activities of each day.

The joy of the Resurrection

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

Rich in mercy

The parable of the prodigal son is mercy perosnified.

     

    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
    • Our Lord’s sorrow at the death of Judas

    Lent with Pope Francis

    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.

    Joy to the world

    Christmas is a time of great joy, joy because we celebrate the entry of Christ  into the world as our Saviour. But in a real sense, everyday is Christmas because Christ is always with us. In this meditation we consider the importance of being always cheerful, of radiating our joy to others. We consider:

    • Texts of Scripture that speak to us of the joy surrounding the birth of Christ
    • How Mary brought joy to Elizabeth and John the Baptist in her womb
    • How we find our joy “in the Lord”, as St Paul writes
    • Texts of St Josemaria, St John Chrysostom, Pope Francis and Rose Kennedy that speak of joy
    • How we can be cheerful even when we are in a bad mood, or are experiencing difficulties
    • How important it is to radiate joy to those around us

    Putting Christ back in Christmas

    Nativity scene icon

    For more and more people, Christmas is about giving gifts, bringing the family together, having parties and going on holidays. But it is not about the birth of Christ. In this meditation we pray about how we can put Christ in the centre of our life and grow in friendship with him. We consider:

    • Who Christ really is
    • Why he became flesh
    • How he came to be born in Bethlehem
    • What we learn from his birth in a stable
    • How we can grow in love for him through prayer, the Mass, reading the Scriptures, the sacraments, penance and service to others