Tag Archives: Prayer

Sorrow for our sins

Face of Christ in the Passion

 

 

We all sin, but how much true sorrow do we have? In this meditation we use texts of St Augustine, the Roman Catechism, St John Vianney and St Josemaria Escriva to consider three aspects of penance: the virtue of penance, or sorrow for our sins, the sacrament of penance and the acts of penance, striving to:

  • Contemplate the sorrowful face of Jesus, as St Peter did
  • Consider how many sins we have committed and how our sins hurt Our Lord more than those of people who are distant from him
  • Foster a true purpose of amendment, a sincere resolution to try hard not to sin again
  • Go regularly to the sacrament of penance and invite others to go with us
  • Be generous in our acts of penance, of self-denial, as we have been generous in committing sins

Behold your Mother

Our holy mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus.

When he was about to die on the Cross Jesus gave Our Lady to St John as his mother. The tradition of the Church has always seen in St John the whole Church, and indeed all mankind. In this meditation we consider:

  • How Mary is truly our mother
  • How Our Lady’s suffering at the Cross binds her more tightly to all her children
  • How Mary began to exercise her motherly role in the early Church
  • How Our Lady spoke to St Juan Diego at Guadalupe as a mother
  • How Mary continues to intercede powerfully for us in heaven as she did at Cana
  • How we can take Our Lady into our own keeping, as St John did

On the road to Emmaus

In the afternoon of the Resurrection, two discouraged disciples of Jesus left Jerusalem for the nearby town of Emmaus. Christ met them on the way and engaged them in conversation, showing them from the Scriptures how the Messiah was meant to suffer and die. When they reached Emmaus the discipes begged Jesus to stay with them and when they recognised him in the breaking of the bread they returned to Jerusalem. In this meditation we consider how:

  • Christ is always there for us when we are going through hard times.
  • We should beg Jesus to stay with us and we should keep him close always, especially when we are experiencing difficulties.
  • Like the disciples did with Jesus, we should open our hearts to the one who guides us in our spiritual life
  • Our hearts, like those of the disciples, will burn within us when we encounter our Lord in prayer, the Scriptures and the sacraments.
  • Our Lord sends us out, as he did the apostles, to announce to others the good news of his love for mankind.

Lessons from the Cross

Jesus’ passion and death give us many lessons.  In this meditation we use texts from St Thomas Aquinas and St Josemaria Escriva to consider some of the many virtues Christ teaches us from the Cross:

  • Charity and patience
  • Humility and obedience
  • Detachment and fortitude
  • Joy

 

 

Fasting in Lent

Fasting is one of the three focuses of Lent, along with prayer and almsgiving. But how much fasting should we do? The Church asks very little: only to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. In this meditation we pray about this important topic, considering:

  • How much Our Lord suffered for us and how we should respond with generosity
  • The history of fasting in Lent, from the early centuries to the present
  • Statements from Pope St John Paul II on generosity in fasting
  • Words of St Francis de Sales on the spirit of fasting
  • Practical ways we can live fasting in Lent

Lent, a springtime in the spiritual life

 

 

 

To prepare for his public life, Our Lord spent forty days in prayer and fasting. This is the origin of the forty days of Lent in preparation for Easter, to be spent in prayer, fasting and almsgiving. In this meditation we consider how:

  • After forty days in the desert Christ rejected the temptations of Satan, showing us how we too can reject temptations to sin.
  • The word “Lent” comes from the Anglo-Saxon word “Lencten”, meaning “springtime”, and if we live Lent well we will have a springtime of new life in our soul.
  • To live Lent well we should strive to do something specific in the traditional areas of prayer, fasting  and almsgiving.

Holy Mass, centre and root of the interior life

Pope St John Paul II saying mass

 

 

 

The Second Vatican Council, using some words of St Josemaria Escriva, called the Mass the centre and root of the interior life. If we make the Mass our centre and root, we will attend it better and we will unite all our acitivities with it. In this meditation we consider how:

  • The Mass is the sacrifice of Calvary made present on the altar
  • It is the Church’s most powerful prayer and we can unite our own intentions with those of the Mass
  • The Mass is the centre of all the sacraments and we can strive to make it the centre of our day and the focal point of  all our activities
  • As the root of the interior life the Mass strengthens our faith by anchoring us firmly in Jesus Christ
  • Through the root of the Mass we receive nourishment for our soul through the prayers, readings and especially Holy Communion
  • We should strive to be truly Eucharistic souls