St Paul tells us that the greatest of the virtues is charity. If we are to live this virtue well, we must first grow in love for God so that his love fills us and overflows into those around us. In this meditation we consider how:
The more we love God, the easier it will be to love our neighbour
We can learn charity from saints like Mother Teresa of Calcutta and St Josemaria, who loved God with their whole heart and their neighbour as themselves
We can grow in four aspects of charity: patience, love for people of all backgrounds, forgiveness and kindness
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
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
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.
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