Tag Archives: Prayer

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

Rechristianising society

Christ sent the apostles out to the whole world to teach all nations. They went out and in just over three hundred years, amidst bitter persecution of Christians, the Roman Empire declared itself officially Christian. Christendom, a Europe with Christian laws and customs, would last for over a thousand years, and from Europe the faith spread to the rest of the world. Today, however, we see the erosion of Christian values all over the western world. Many people through up their hands in despair, thinking there is nothing they can do. But there is much we can do. In this meditation we use texts of St John Paul II, especially his Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles laicito consider how:

  • We must first live out our faith to the full, seeking true holiness of life
  • We must do everything we can to ensure that Christian values continue to influence public life in our country
  • We can fight for the dignity of the human person, for the defence of life from conception to natural death, for marriage and the family, and for a more Christian presence in the media and internet, in education, and in legislation.

 

The wedding feast of Cana

Our Lord’s first miracle at the wedding feast of Cana has much to teach us. In this meditation we use texts of St Josemaria, Tertullian and St John Vianney to consider some of these lessons:

  • The beauty of Christian marriage
  • The importance of inviting Jesus to our wedding
  • Our Lady’s motherly concern at Cana and in our own lives
  • The power of Mary’s intercession
  • The importance of doing whatever Jesus asks us
  • Jesus’ power to do miracles today if we ask him with faith
  • The witness of our own faith to those around us

The Holy Family, model of all families

 

 

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.