Tag Archives: St Josemaria Escriva

The Spiritual Olympics

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
  • Self-discipline
  • A spiritual diet of grace from the sacraments
  • A doctor to heal our injuries: the sacrament of penance
  • A coach, in the form of a spiritual director
  • Knowledge of the rules of morality
  • The support of others in the Communion of Saints

 

Growing in love through the Sacred Heart of Jesus

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.

Mary, our loving Mother

 

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

Mary, teacher of prayer

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

St Joseph, Teacher of Prayer

Nativity scene iconSt Teresa of Avila called St Joseph “a master who teaches [us] how to pray. In this meditation we consider how:

  • St Joseph prayed in all moments and events of his life
  • We can learn from him how to find God in our work, family life, travel, recreation, etc.
  • We will benefit from having regular times for prayer each day
  • We can entrust to St Joseph our important intentions

St Joseph’s docility to the will of God

St Joseph's Dream

One of St Joseph’s remarkable qualities was his docility to the will of God. In this meditation we consider:

  • How St Joseph responded to God’s will in various moments
  • Comments of Pope Francis, St Josemaria Escriva and St John Chrysostom on St Joseph’s docility
  • How we come to know the will of God in our own life
  • How our docility, like that of St Joseph, should be prompt, complete, responsible, free and loving

St Joseph and the difficulties of life

 

St Joseph flight into Egypt icon

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: 

  • St Joseph faced many difficulties
  • St Josemaria Escriva dealt with his difficulties
  • God allows those he loves to endure tribulation
  • St Thomas More describes the great value of tribulations
  • We should face difficulties with trust in God and human resourcefulness
  • We can grow humanly and spiritually through our very difficulties

 

 

 

Prayer of the Children of God

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

The multiplication of the loaves

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
  • Our Lady, the Handmaid of the Lord, was docile to God and brought the Word of God into the world.
  • We will be more useful in this work if we are very united to Christ through our spiritual life and we are humble
  • We should ask God throughout the day what he is expecting from us
  • If we are docile, God will multiply our efforts, as he did with the apostles

Devotion to the Sacred Heart

On the feast of the Sacred Heart we honour Jesus in his self-giving love for mankind. In this meditation we consider that:

  • The blood and water that flowed from Jesus’ open side on the cross symbolise his love for us “to the end”
  • God loves us with both “eros” and “agape”
  • Jesus explained to St Margaret Mary Alacoque why he wanted a new feast established in honour of his Sacred Heart
  • In answer to Jesus’ question to Peter, “Do you love me”?, we can ask ourselves how much we love him.
  • Because we have been given more, we should love God more
  • A letter from St Margaret Mary affords us points to consider in our prayer