"Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while." These words of Jesus Christ are an invitation to personal and intimate prayer. The meditations offered in this podcast are intended to help the listener enter into his own prayerful relationship with God. By reflecting on scenes from the Gospel, on other passages from Scripture, and on the insights of saints and spiritual writers, we can strengthen our faith in Jesus and our love for God. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, "I have called you my friends." By regular meditation and dialogue with Our Lord in prayer, our life can be transformed into an ever deepening and loving friendship with God.
Holiness on Loan
The Christian's call to holiness is a mysterious reality. How can we be holy when holiness is exclusive to God and underlines his transcendent otherness? How can we be perfect who are obviously sinful and weak? Only by possessing and being possessed by Christ is holiness possible for us. Sanctity is to have him live in us through the sacraments, our prayer life, and our gradual imitation of his life and dispositions.
The ups and downs of St. Peter are an example of starting over after coming up short. To begin again after some failure is not just to keep trying, but to learn humility and a greater reliance on God. Without our stumbles and falls we would never learn how much we need God's mercy and healing power.
(Rebroadcast) The Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael
Originally published 9/28/2020
The three Archangels teach us important truths about God. They reveal to us His transcendence, His power, and His salvific action.
"Run so as to win": Conducting Our Spiritual Combat
The Christian life entails a struggle. Growing in virtue and overcoming vice requires serious effort. This struggle for holiness, however, may seem overwhelming to the weak and self-empowering to the proud. Realizing that God's aid is essential for all spiritual growth helps to overcome these two mistakes. Our spiritual combat must be carried out bravely and freely but also with full confidence in God.
"To Cast Fire on the Earth": The Fight against Lukewarmness
Jesus's love is a burning, fervent love. God himself is described as a 'burning fire' in the Letter to the Hebrews. As disciples, we too ought to be men and women who are "on fire": apostolic, energetic, engaged, and up for sacrifices. This entails overcoming lukewarmness, a spiritual illness that makes us allergic to Christian fervor and zeal.
The Triumph of the Cross
Jesus' apparent failure on the Cross is in reality a great victory. His suffering was necessary for his glorification and for our salvation. As Christians, our suffering is similarly necessary. It is a means of purification, sanctification, and co-redemption. Living through trials lovingly and prayerfully can teach us tremendous lessons about God and ourselves. Like Christ, the trusting acceptance of our crosses becomes a great victory over sin and selfishness.
Healthy Spiritual Food
The perfect balance of succinct orthodoxy, in a clear and understandable fashion (for a layman like myself), coupled with humor while being relatable, real and “usable” in the culture we find ourselves in. Thank you!
Soil enriching stuff
Very grateful for this insightful and thought provoking content, along with the humor!
A time to be with Christ in prayer
Fr. John’s meditations are wonderful. Highly recommend.