Athletes go through a rigorous training regime in order to achieve their goal of competing, or winning a medal, in the Olympic games. The goal of Christians is much higher: eternal life with God in heaven, and we too need a training regime. In this meditation we use texts of Scripture, St Augustine and St Josemaria Escriva to consider how, like athletes, we need:
Determination, singlemindedness, to reach our goal
Commitment to training, involving regular times for prayer
A spiritual diet of grace from the sacraments
A doctor to heal our injuries: the sacrament of penance
Our Lord has loved us to the last drop of his blood and water, and he invites us to love him more in return. In this meditation we use texts of Scripture, St Margaret Mary Alacoque and St Josemaria Escriva to consider that:
St John writes in his Gospel that Jesus has loved us “to the end” and in his first Letter that “God is love”.
Our Lord asked St Margaret Mary for the feast of the Sacred Heart, in order to increase love for him throughout the world.
St Margaret writes in a letter about the three streams that pour out from the heart of Christ.
Considering the immense love Our Lord has for us, we should endeavour to grow constantly in love for God and for our neighbour.
From the moment she conceived Jesus in her womb, Mary became the mother of his Mystical Body, the Church, and of all of us. In this meditation we use texts from Sacred Scripture, Pope St Paul VI, St Josemaria Escriva and St Bernard to consider how:
Mary gave birth to Jesus and to the Church in Bethlehem
From the Cross at Calvary, Jesus gave Mary to St John, and to each one of us, as our mother
Because of the pain she suffered when Christ’s body was pierced with a lance and the Church flowed from his side on Calvary, Mary has a special love for all her children
Mary exercises her motherly role in many moments related in the Scriptures
We can show our gratitude to Our Lady and honour her through such practices as the Rosary, the Angelus, Marian aspirations and pilgrimages
The Second Vatican Council called Our Lady “model of the virtues” and we can learn so much from her. In this meditation we go to her as “teacher of prayer” to learn how to pray better. Using texts from Scripture and St Josemaria Escriva we consider how:
In the Annunciation Mary listens to what God is asking of her through the angel, asks about what she does not understand, and then immediately accepts God’s will for her
In her Magnificat, Mary praises God for his loving-kindness to her
On two occasions Our Lady ponders in her heart God’s providence in the events of her life
At Cana Mary asks Jesus with great faith to do a miracle
In all her activities, Mary lived in the presence of God
We all face difficulties in life: sickness and pain, the loss of loved ones, problems in work and in relationships, financial worries, temptations to sin, etc. Our tendency is to complain about them and thus lose their great value. In this meditation we consider how:
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches us to pray to God our Father, giving us, among other things, the Lord’s Prayer, the Our Father. In this meditation we reflect on how we are to pray to our loving Father God, using texts from Scripture, St Augustine, St John Vianney and St Josemaria Escriva. We consider how:
Jesus himself prays to his Father
Our Father always hears and answers us
He always gives us what is best, even if it is not what we asked for
The benefits we receive from the very act of praying are themselves an answer to our prayer
We should pray with faith, confidence and perseverance
When Christ multiplied the loaves and fish to feed a vast throng, he asked the apostles to bring the loaves and fish to him and to distribute them to the people. Today too, he wants to feed the people of our generation, who are hungry for his word, and he needs us to help him. In this meditation we use texts of Scripture and of St Josemaria Escriva to consider how:
Like the apostles, we need to be docile in carrying out what Our Lord is asking of us