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.
The Gospels relate the joy of the disciples and the holy women when they saw Our Lord after his Resurrection. That joy can be ours too when we discover Our Lord in the ordinary circumstances of our life and we come to love him. In this meditation we use passages from the Scriptures, from Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation “Rejoice and be glad” and from St Josemaria Escriva to discover how to find the joy we all seek. We consider how:
Christ wants everyone to be happy
We will be happy when we find Christ and come to love him
We can be joyful even in the midst of sickness, worries and misfortunes
Cheerfulness is attractive and draws others to God
We all offend God many times a day, yet we do not express our sorrow as we should. In this meditation we pray about how we can foster true contrition, sorrow of love, for our sins and failings. We consider:
That God truly loves each of us more than all the mothers in the world put together
That our sins offend God more than do the sins of others, because he has given us more grace
The difference between perfect contrition and imperfect contrition
For more and more people, Christmas is about giving gifts, bringing the family together, having parties and going on holidays. But it is not about the birth of Christ. In this meditation we pray about how we can put Christ in the centre of our life and grow in friendship with him. We consider:
St Josemaria Escriva called himself a man who knew how to love. Indeed, his great love for God overflowed into love for his fellow man. We should all be people who know how to love. In this meditation we pray about how:
We are all called to love God because he loved us first
Only if we truly love God will we be able to love our fellow man
We can grow in love for God in the same way that St Josemaria did: by spending time with him in prayer in its various forms, in Mass and Holy Communion, reading of Scripture, spiritual reading, etc.
We love God with the same heart with which we love others
Our love for others should include our effort to help them draw closer to God
Our Lord, Jesus Christ, washing the feet of his disciples, the night before he suffered and died on the cross.
Before beginning his Passion, Christ washed the feet of his disciples and gave us the new commandment to love one another as he has loved us. In this meditation, using texts from Scripture and St Josemaria we consider how:
Christ poured himself out in love for others, loving them to the end by his death on the Cross
God has loved us first and so the more we love him the easier it will be to love others
Love begins in the family, with those closest to us
We should learn to spend time, to listen, to be kind, to forgive
Our Lord, Jesus Christ, depicted with the Holy Eucharist, a sacrament He founded during His Last Supper.
In the words of St Josemaria Escriva, the Eucharist should be the “centre and root” of the spiritual life. After all, the Eucharist is Jesus himself, who gives himself to us as the nourishment of our soul and who waits for us in the “prison of love”, the tabernacle. In this meditation we pray about how we can grow in love for Jesus in the Eucharist, using words that Catalina Rivas puts on his lips in her book The Passion, published by the Apostolate of the New Evangelization. We consider:
Why Jesus washed the feet of the apostles before instituting the Eucharist
The many fruits that come from receiving Jesus well in Holy Communion
The sorrow of Jesus when people receive him unworthily
The story of a Chinese girl who was killed for her love of the Eucharist
How we can grow in love for Jesus by keeping him company in the tabernacle