Tag Archives: Prayer

Living Lent with generosity

Living Lent with generosity

The word Lent comes from the ancient word Lencten, meaning springtime. If we live Lent well we have a true springtime, with new growth in our spiritual life. In this meditation we consider how:

  • In Lent we accompany Jesus in his forty days of prayer and fasting in the desert.
  • We respond to his invitation, if we want to be his disciples, to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow him.
  • We can choose something from each of the three traditional areas of prayer, fasting and charity.
  • If we live Lent with generosity, we will be much closer to God on Easter Sunday than we were on Ash Wednesday.

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The Church is one

In the Nicene Creed we profess our belief that the Church is one, holy, catholic and apostolic. In this meditation we pray about the first of these four “marks of the Church”, its unity. We consider that:

  • Christ founded only one Church
  • He prayed in the Last Supper for the unity of the Church
  • The Church is one because of her source, her founder and her soul
  • The Church is one because she professes one faith, has one celebration of worship and has one government
  • St Irenaeus writes about the unity of the Church at the end of the second century
  • The ecumenical movement works to bring about the unity of all Christians in the one Church of Christ

St Joseph’s docility to the will of God

St Joseph's Dream

One of St Joseph’s remarkable qualities was his docility to the will of God. In this meditation we consider:

  • How St Joseph responded to God’s will in various moments
  • Comments of Pope Francis, St Josemaria Escriva and St John Chrysostom on St Joseph’s docility
  • How we come to know the will of God in our own life
  • How our docility, like that of St Joseph, should be prompt, complete, responsible, free and loving

St Joseph and the difficulties of life

 

St Joseph flight into Egypt icon

We all face difficulties in life: sickness and pain, the loss of loved ones, problems in work and in relationships, financial worries, temptations to sin, etc. Our tendency is to complain about them and thus lose their great value. In this meditation we consider how: 

  • St Joseph faced many difficulties
  • St Josemaria Escriva dealt with his difficulties
  • God allows those he loves to endure tribulation
  • St Thomas More describes the great value of tribulations
  • We should face difficulties with trust in God and human resourcefulness
  • We can grow humanly and spiritually through our very difficulties

 

 

 

John the Baptist, Precursor of Christ

In the lead-up to Christmas, the liturgy reminds us repeatedly of the important role of St John the Baptist, the precursor of Jesus in preparing the people to receive him. In this meditation we consider:

  • The similarities between the annunciations by the archangel Gabriel to Zechariah and Mary  of the birth of a child
  • The importance of John’s role as the last and greatest prophet to announce the way of the Lord
  • John’s virtues of detachment from comforts and humility that make him so efficacious in carrying out his role
  • John’s efficacy in announcing Christ to two of his own disciples: John the Evangelist and Andrew
  • Our own mission of making Christ known to the people of our day

Journey to Bethlehem

 

 

 

 

 

In this season of Advent we accompany Our Lady and St Joseph as they make their way from Nazareth to Bethlehem. In this meditation we learn from the many aspects of their journey and from their preparations for Jesus’ birth in the stable in Bethlehem how we can live Advent better. It can become a “little Lent” where we find practical ways of improving our:

  • Life of prayer
  • Spirit of penance
  • Details of charity with those around us

 

The Good Samaritan

 

We all love the parable of the Good Samaritan, but how well do we live out its message? In this meditation we use Pope Francis’ commentary on the parable in his encyclical Fratelli tutti to see the many lessons it contains and to suggest practical ways of putting these lessons into practice.

Rechristianising society

 

With God and Christian values being pushed more and more out of our laws, culture and lives, people agree that the world is not in a good place. But what can be done to change this? In this meditation we use texts of the Second Vatican Council, St John Paul II, St Josemaria and Edmund Burke to consider how:

  • Christ sent twelve apostles out to the whole world and they transformed the Roman Empire
  • Society is transformed through man, through each person
  • God will do the work but he needs us to help him
  • We begin by struggling for holiness
  • We can help parents to bring up their children in faith and values
  • We can help politicians, journalists, teachers and others to have good values
  • We can join political parties, professional associations and pro-life groups

Praying the Rosary better

One of the most powerful and most loved devotions is the Rosary. In this meditation we use St John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter “Rosarium Virginis Mariae”, by which he introduced the Luminous Mysteries in 2002, to come to a deeper understanding of the Rosary so that we can say it better. We consider how:

  • The Rosary unites us with the liturgy
  • The Rosary, in addition to being a Marian prayer, is essentially centred on Christ
  • The Rosary is a contemplative prayer
  • The repetition of Hail Marys is an expression of love
  • Silence has a place in the Rosary
  • The beads have a symbolic meaning
  • The Rosary unites families and gives them peace

Prayer of the Children of God

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches us to pray to God our Father, giving us, among other things, the Lord’s Prayer, the Our Father. In this meditation we reflect on how we are to pray to our loving Father God, using texts from Scripture, St Augustine, St John Vianney and St Josemaria Escriva. We consider how:

  • Jesus himself prays to his Father
  • Our Father always hears and answers us
  • He always gives us what is best, even if it is not what we asked for
  • The benefits we receive from the very act of praying are themselves an answer to our prayer
  • We should pray with faith, confidence and perseverance