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
On Holy Thursday we celebrated the institution of the Eucharist by Christ in the Last Supper, in what was his last celebration of the Passover. Even though In these extraordinary times of a pandemic most of us are unable to attend Mass, we can still be very united to the Masses being celebrated and so be, in the words of St Josemaria, “Eucharistic souls”. In this meditation we consider how:
The Jewish Passover was a figure of the Eucharist and it has many aspects that were fulfilled and made a reality in the Eucharist
The sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist flowed from Christ’s open side as he hung on the Cross
We can be personally united with the four ends of the Mass
We can make the Eucharist the “centre and root” of the interior life, as St Josemaria suggested, and so be “Eucharistic souls”
At the beginning of another year we use texts of Scripture and St Josemaria Escriva to pray about what our goals and resolutions ought to be, especially that most important goal of eternal life with God in heaven. We consider:
The very reason for our existence is to know, love and serve God on earth in order to be happy with him in heaven.
We don’t know how long God has given us to live on this earth and therefore we must struggle to be ready to meet him every day.
Many souls depend on the life of each of us.
Holiness is a struggle, a battle, against the world, the flesh and the devil.
Athletes discipline themselves and train hard to win a crown that fades, whereas ours is imperishable: eternal life.
It has often been said that the quality of our interior life is the quality of our prayer. In this meditation we use especially the Catechism of the Catholic Church and St Josemaria’s book The Way to consider how we can improve our personal conversation with God in mental prayer through such means as:
Saying slowly and with attention the words of the Introductory Prayer
Responding promptly to the initiative of God, who invites us to pray
Engaging in the “battle of prayer”, whether we feel like it or not
Committing ourselves to regular times for prayer and being faithful to them
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 ups and downs of life there are many events which are not in our control, where we can only put our hope in God. In this meditation we use texts of Scripture and Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical Saved by hope to put our life on a sure foundation. We consider that:
The foundation of our hope is God, who is always with us.
Our hope in God enables us to find peace and joy even amidst the uncertainties and sufferings of life.
The ultimate object of our hope is eternal life with God in heaven.
Many passages in Scripture speak to us of hope.
We can grow in hope through prayer in its various forms.
Mary, our Mother, is our hope: she brings us hope in the person of Jesus, she lives hope herself in many moments, and she intercedes powerfully for us in heaven.
God is calling all of us to “go out and bear fruit”, to bring the truth and love of Christ into the world. In a word, to change the world for the better. But it is not easy. It is hard enough to change ourselves. For this reason we need the virtue of fortitude, which strengthens the will. In this meditation we consider: