Tag Archives: St John Paul II

The mission of the laity in the world

The lay members of Christ’s Faithful People (Christifideles Laici), whose “Vocation and Mission in the Church and in the World Twenty Years after the Second Vatican Council” was the topic of the 1987 Synod of Bishops, are those who form that part of the People of God which might be likened to the labourers in the vineyard mentioned in Matthew’s Gospel.

They used to joke that the role of the laity was “to pray, pay and obey”! In this meditation we use the words of Our Lord in the Last Supper, the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen gentium and St John Paul II’s Apostolic Constitution Christifideles laici to consider the great mission of the lay faithful:

  • The laity have a true vocation, a calling from God to engage in the affairs of the world and order them according to the will of God.
  • The Letter of Diognetus from the early Church describes how Christians are the soul of the world.
  • In order to be effective in their mission, the lay faithful should have a truly lay mentality consisting of seven aspects, including interest in the affairs of the world, a deep interior life, a solid doctrinal formation, an effort to be involved in secular activities and respect for the opinions of others in temporal matters.

Formation in Christ

Christ teaching the apostles

Before the apostles were sent out to evangelize, he spent time in their formation.

 

 

We are called to live out our faith and share it with others, to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. To do this effectively in a society which is increasingly ignorant of and even hostile to Christian values we need formation. In this meditation we consider how:

  • Christ spent time forming the apostles before sending them out to all nations
  • We too are called to go out and help others find God and to make our culture more Christian
  • For this we need  a deep spiritual, doctrinal, human and apostolic formation
  • Pope St John Paul II writes of the need for formation in his Apostolic Exhortation “Christifideles laici
  • We can receive this formation in a variety of ways

Love for the priesthood

Icon of Christ the eternal high priest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We can sometimes take our priests for granted, or even complain about them. In this meditation we look at what our priests do for us and how we can help them. We consider:

  • Jesus Christ, the eternal high priest, instituted the priesthood to continue his priestly ministry down the ages
  • Priests do so much for us: celebrating the sacrifice of the Mass in order to offer this pure sacrifice to the Father, to leave Christ in the tabernacle and give him to us in holy Communion; forgiving our sins, anointing us when we are in danger of death, teaching us the faith…
  • St John Vianney, the Cure of Ars, has beautiful things to say about the priesthood
  • St John Paul II wrote wonderfully about what people expect from priests
  • We should give thanks for our priests and pray for them so that they will be holy and faithful
  • We should pray too for seminarians, for young men considering a priestly vocation and for families, the seedbed of vocations

Sanctifying the ordinary

Sanctifying the ordinary acts of life

We can find God in the ordinary things that we do daily.

We can find God and grow in love for him not only in church, prayer and the sacraments, but also in all the activities of our ordinary life. In this meditation we pray about how we can do this. We will consider:

  • The life of the Holy Family
  • A homily of St Josemaria on sanctifying ordinary life
  • Ways to discover God in our everyday activities

Christ our Light

Resurrection of Christ

Christ’s resurrection on the first Easter Sunday

At a time of much spiritual darkness and evil in the world, the light of the risen Christ at Easter brings light and hope to all. In this meditation we consider:

  • Christ’s resurrection and appearance to Mary Magdalene
  • The risen Christ has overcome the world
  • We have received the light at Baptism but can lose it through sin
  • We should return to the light through confession and help others to do so
  • We should keep our light burning and make it grow ever more brightly
  • We should share our light with many others

Meditation “Sacrament of Mercy”

One of the great treasures of the Church, one which at the same time is sadly little used, is the sacrament of Penance, given to the Church by Christ on the very evening of his Resurrection. In this meditation we consider:

  • The mercy of God as seen in the parable of the Prodigal Son
  • Christ’s institution of the sacrament on Easter Sunday
  • Why the sacrament of Penance responds to deep seated human needs
  • The many benefits we receive in the sacrament
  • Why we should go to confession regularly
  • How we should take others to this sacrament

Meditation on the feast of Corpus Christi

As we celebrate again the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Eucharistic feast of the Body and  Blood of Christ, we do our prayer in this meditation on the origin of the feast in the thirteenth century and its meaning for us today, helping us to grow in love for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. We will consider:

  • the history of the feast, going back to St Juliana of Liege and the Eucharistic miracle of Bolsena-Orvieto
  • the scriptural passages in which Jesus promises the gift of his Body and Blood and institutes the Eucharist
  • the constant tradition of belief in the Real Presence
  • the ways in which we can live out and grow in our love for the Eucharist