March Recollection Kit

A recollection is a “mini-retreat,” a few hours of quiet prayer when we look at our lives in God's presence. As we continue to face a global pandemic, this "recollection-at-home" can help us spend an hour or two in loving conversation with God, right where we are.

Inspiration for Your Prayer
Opus Dei - March Recollection Kit

A monthly recollection is a chance to step back from the whirlwind of daily tasks for a few hours of quiet prayer spent looking at God, the world, and ourselves. It is not always easy to find time to pray, but it is always worthwhile.

The best way to enjoy this recollection is to find a time that you can commit to spending with our Lord, and a calm place—free of distractions—where you can pray. Set aside other tasks, switch your phone to “do not disturb,” and grab a notebook. It is a good idea to make note of resolutions and ideas throughout the recollection, but the most important thing is to put yourself in front of our Lord, to look at Him and to let Him look at you.

I. Introduction

II. Meditation: Lent (25 minutes)

III. Spiritual Reading (10-15 minutes)

IV. Holy Rosary (20 minutes)

V. Examination of Conscience (5-10 minutes)

VI. Meditation: Be Still, Be Silent (30 minutes)


I. INTRODUCTION

WE NEED TO KEEP OUR SOUL YOUNG; WE HAVE TO CALL UPON OUR LORD, KNOW HOW TO LISTEN TO HIM...


"We are at the beginning of Lent: a time of penance, purification and conversion. It is not an easy program, but then Christianity is not an easy way of life. It is not enough just to be in the Church, letting the years roll by. In our life, in the life of Christians, our first conversion — that unique moment which each of us remembers, when we clearly understood everything the Lord was asking of us — is certainly very significant. But the later conversions are even more important, and they are increasingly demanding. To facilitate the work of grace in these conversions, we need to keep our soul young; we have to call upon our Lord, know how to listen to him and, having found out what has gone wrong, know how to ask his pardon" (Christ is Passing By, no. 57).

Let's begin this time of prayer by asking for help to discover our Lord's love for each of us. It is a love manifested in his suffering and death on the Cross, and knowing that we are loved and forgiven by a God who is willing to suffer for us fills us with gratitude, mercy, and forgiveness.

We turn also to our Lady, Holy Mary, who teaches us to accompany her Son in His Passion, and to St. Joseph, who helps us recognize Jesus' Cross in our daily work, struggles, and burdens, and to freely and joyfully offer them to God. In this way, we too can follow Him and serve others, imitating the way He offered Himself to God the Father.


II. MEDITATION

In Lent, the Church invites us to contemplate the Transfiguration, when Jesus was transfigured with glory in front of His apostles. When we are in love with Jesus, we see Him differently, as He really is. You can listen to this meditation here:


The most important part of the meditation is your personal conversation with our Lord. You can use the priest’s prayer to inspire your own.


III. SPIRITUAL READING

“You write,” says St. Josemaria in The Way, pt. 117: “'In my spiritual reading I build up a store of fuel. It looks like a lifeless heap, but I often find that my memory, of its own accord, will draw from it material which fills my prayer with life and inflames my thanksgiving after Communion.'”

We suggest spending 10-15 minutes reading part of Pope Francis' letter on the year of St. Joseph, "With a Father's Heart (Patris corde)."


IV. HOLY ROSARY

The Holy Rosary is an ancient Christian prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother, asking her to pray for all her children in our time of need. You can find a description of how to pray the Rosary here, and download the Litany of Loreto (traditionally prayed at the end of the Rosary) here.


V. EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE

The questions below can help us consider in the presence of God how we’ve responded to His love in our acts and omissions. It may help to begin by invoking the Holy Spirit and to end with an act of contrition, expressing our sorrow for our sins and imploring God’s grace to return and remain close to Him. The act of contrition can be any we like, including one as simple as Peter’s words to Jesus after the Resurrection: "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you" (Jn 21:17).

1. The widow in the Gospel, from her poverty, gives "all that she had to live on" to the Temple treasury (Mk 12:44). Am I generous? Do I trust that God will do great things with the possessions I place at his service?

2. "Be merciful as your Father is merciful" (Lk 6:36). Do I try to be merciful in order to obtain God's mercy and that of others? Do I ask God to increase my capacity for understanding, for overlooking the faults of others, and for seeing the good side of events and people around me?

3. "Do you hold grudges against your children? No, of course not. And in the same way, when we ask His forgiveness, our Lord always gives it. He forgives everything!" (St. Josemaria, quoted in the book "Antes, más y mejor" by L. Linares, Rialp 2001). Am I holding any grudges? Do I ask our Lord for help to make my forgiveness more realy and sincere?

4. "It is not you who have chosen me, it is I who have chosen you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit" (Jn 15:16). Do I ask the Holy Spirit for light to help me discover God's plans for me and give me the strength to follow his call? How can I redirect my life to contribute to God's plans for the world?

5. "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men" (Mt 4:19). Do I seek to renew my sense of mission as a Christian, confident that I can always count on the Lord's company? Do I think about and pray for souls with whom I can share Christ's joy?

6. "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field" (Mt 13:45). Do I spend time remembering how the Lord has guided me over the course of my life? Do I see my Christian vocation as a path to happiness?


VI. MEDITATION

How can we imitate St. Joseph's calm, serenity, and peace in times of anxiety and worry? You can listen to this meditation here:


The most important part of the meditation is your personal conversation with our Lord. You can use the priest’s prayer to inspire your own.