Everyone loves Christmas, when we celebrate the birth of Christ in Bethlehem. In this meditation we use the Catechism of the Catholic Churchand texts of St Josemaria to pray about why God became man and the consequences this has for us. According to the Catechism, God became man for four reasons:
St Paul tells us that the greatest of the virtues is charity. If we are to live this virtue well, we must first grow in love for God so that his love fills us and overflows into those around us. In this meditation we consider how:
The more we love God, the easier it will be to love our neighbour
We can learn charity from saints like Mother Teresa of Calcutta and St Josemaria, who loved God with their whole heart and their neighbour as themselves
We can grow in four aspects of charity: patience, love for people of all backgrounds, forgiveness and kindness
The Second Vatican Council, using some words of St Josemaria Escriva, called the Mass the centre and root of the interior life. If we make the Mass our centre and root, we will attend it better and we will unite all our acitivities with it. In this meditation we consider how:
At Christmas we have the wonderful custom of giving gifts to others. But the first Christmas gift came from God himself, who so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son to dwell amongst us and redeem us by his death on the Cross. In this meditation we consider:
The Gospel passage of St Luke narrating the birth of Christ in Bethlehem
The Prologue of the Gospel of St John telling us who the Child born in Bethlehem is
The many benefits that flow from the Incarnation of God in Jesus
How we can show our gratitude for God’s Gift by welcoming Christ into our life, speaking to him in prayer, doing promptly what he asks of us, giving ourselves to him through those around us and sharing the Gift with others by bringing them to Christ
God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son, and Jesus loved us so much that he suffered and died on the cross for us. Jesus invites us to love him in return but we so often show him by our sins that we love him too little. In this meditation we consider how:
We cannot avoid all sins – even the saints in heaven committed them – but we can try harder to avoid sinning.
God expects more from us than from many others.
We should strive especially to avoid committing mortal sins and deliberate venial sins.
We should identify the occasions of our sins and strive to avoid them.
We should foster true contrition for our sins.
We should do penance to make up at least in part for our sins and to strengthen our will to resist future temptations.
We should strive to go regularly to the sacrament of penance, knowing that there God always pours out his mercy on us.
A contemplative person is more patient, peaceful, kind and cheerful. Picture shows the young Jesus praying beside her mother.
St Josemaria taught that all Christians can be contemplatives in the middle of the world: that they can find God and be aware of his presence in every activity. This is within the reach of all but it requires effort on our part. In this meditation we will consider how:
Jesus promised the apostles, and us, that he would be with us always, until the end of the world.
God is with us in many different ways.
Like St Augustine, we often have to say that God was with us but we were not with him.
In order to grow in contemplative life it is important to live well our regular times of prayer and space them out throughout the day.
We can intersperse our regular times of prayer with aspirations.
A contemplative person is more patient, peaceful, kind and cheerful.