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.
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
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:
Our Lady asked the children at Fatima in 1917 to pray the rosary each day. We would all do well to heed that request, if only because it pleases our Mother. But we benefit too from praying the rosary, which is a very powerful prayer. In this meditation we consider how:
The rosary arose out of popular piety.
Our Lady urged us to pray the rosary at Lourdes and Fatima.
Many Popes and saints have recommended the rosary.
The rosary is a powerful prayer which contributed to the conversion of heretics by St Dominic, victory in the battle of Lepanto, the collapse of communist regimes in the 20th century and the conversion of sinners.
Charity, as St Paul writes, is the greatest of the virtues (cf. 1 Cor 13: 13) but it is also one of the hardest to live. A big help in being more kind and generous is to see Christ in everyone around us. In this meditation we consider how:
Christ taught us that whatever we do to the least of our brethren we do to him (cf. Mt 25:40).
Our Lord showed us by his example how to love others and he gave us the New Commandment to love others as he has loved us (John 13:34).
We love others because God first loved us (cf. 1 John 4:19).