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.
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.
Our Mother Mary is mother of God, through her giving birth to our Lord, Jesus Christ.
As he came to the end of his life on the cross, Jesus entrusted St John, and all of us, into the care of his Mother Mary. Our Lady looks after us and is truly our Mother. In this meditation we consider how:
In giving birth to Jesus in Bethlehem Mary became the mother of the whole Mystical Body of the Church
At Calvary Mary suffered unspeakably with Jesus for all mankind and this moves her to love us all the more
Mary draws sinners to Jesus
Mary exercises her motherly role with the apostles and with all of us
Mary intercedes for us before Jesus as “supplicating omnipotence”
We should take Mary into our own keeping, as St John did, through the various Marian prayers and customs, especially the rosary
Our Lady is our intercessor. And, we can ask her to intercede for us using the rosary.
The rosary is a beautiful prayer, in which we honour Our Lady in the Hail Marys and we meditate on the life of Christ in the mysteries. It is also a powerful prayer, which has brought about many great and small blessings over the centuries. In this meditation we consider how:
St Dominic used the rosary to win over the heretics
We are called to be witnesses to Christ. Here we see our Lorde sending out his disciples.
Christ has called all the baptised and sent us out to be his witnesses in the world, to bear fruit that will abide. If we are to fulfill this mission we must be branches very much united to the vine. We do this through our life of prayer, following a daily plan. In this meditation we will consider:
Our calling to be witnesses for Christ
How we must be branches united to the vine
The need for a daily plan of spiritual activities, just as we have a daily plan of meals, work, relaxation and sleep
In 1883, Pope Leo XIII declared October the month of the Rosary. The Holy Rosary is a traditional prayer, going back at least a thousand years. It is a prayer we should say often and well. In this meditation we consider:
How the Rosary came to be
The recommendation of the Rosary by popes and saints
We all want to have a happy, united family but it is not always easy to make our desires a reality. In this meditation we consider the importance of the family for society and some practical ways of strengthening family life, following words of advice from Pope Francis. We will consider:
the importance of the family for society
how husband and wife can strengthen their relationship
the importance of welcoming Christ into the home
generosity in bringing children into the world
how children are a gift from God
the importance of teaching children to honour and respect their parents and each other