In Advent, we prepare for the coming of Christ in history, which we celebrate at Christmas, and for his coming in glory at the end of time. We can also prepare for his coming daily into our hearts and for his coming at the end of our life to call us to our eternal home. To live Advent well, It is good to consider it like a “little Lent”. In this meditation we use texts of Scripture, St Cyril of Jerusalem and St Bernard of Clairvaux to consider how we can do this:
Learning from Mary and Joseph on their journey to Bethlehem
One of the most consoling truths of our faith is the reality of the Communion of Saints – the Church triumphant in heaven, the Church suffering in purgatory, and the Church militant on earth, all helping one another. In this meditation we use texts from Scripture, the Catechism, St Bernard, St Thomas More, St Therese of Lisieux and St Josemaria to consider how:
The saints in heaven “fix the Church more firmly in holiness” by their example and prayer for us
We should have as the goal of our life to be with them for all eternity
The souls in purgatory suffer greatly and are exceedingly happy, relying on our prayer for them and interceding for us before God
In the Church militant, we are helped by the prayers of all in this Communion and we should feel responsible to help the others by our struggle for holiness and our prayers and works.
When we go through difficult times, as the whole world is at present with the coronavirus crisis, we find great comfort in entrusting ourselves and our loved ones into the hands of our loving mother Mary. In this meditation we use texts of St Josemaria, St John Paul II and St Bernard to consider how:
Pope Francis called the Communion of Saints one of the most consoling truths of our faith. Indeed it is. In this meditation we use texts of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, St Bernard, St Therese of Lisieux, St Josemaria, Pope Francis and Kimberly Hahn to pray about this union of the saints in heaven, the souls in purgatory and the faithful on earth, all helping one another on the way to heaven. We consider how:
The Communion of Saints is both communion in holy things and communion of holy persons.
We should endeavour to grow in holiness and increase our desire to be one day with the saints in heaven.
We should pray much for the souls in purgatory.
We should pray for those on earth and help them to come close to God so that they too may be one day in heaven.
By our good deeds we contribute to the Communion of Saints and by our sins we withdraw from it.
When we consider the passion and death of Christ on the Cross we tend to overlook the enormous suffering of his mother Mary. Because of her great love for Jesus, Mary suffered unspeakably. In this meditation we use texts from the Stabat Mater, St Josemaria and St Bernard to consider how:
Mary was always united with Jesus, from his birth until his death on the Cross
Mary suffered in her soul what Jesus suffered in his body because her heart was one with his
Our Lady is with us in our own crosses
Jesus gives us Mary to be our mother and we, like John, should take her into our heart
Because of her great suffering, Mary can be called truly a martyr
Our holy mother, Mary, comforted our Lord at the foot of the cross.
In the Litany of Loreto we call Our Lady “Comforter of the afflicted”. With unspeakable love she comforted Jesus on the Cross at Calvary and she accompanies us in our afflictions. In this meditation we consider how:
Because of her freedom from sin Mary was able to love like no other
As prophesied by Simeon, Mary was destined to suffer much because she loved much
Mary suffered in her heart when Jesus was lost in the temple, at the wedding feast of Cana and especially at Calvary
Mary suffered intensely at Calvary, to the point where St Bernard calls her truly a martyr