June Recollection Kit #StayHome

A recollection is a “mini-retreat,” a few hours of quiet prayer in which we can look at our lives in the presence of God. As we continue to face a global plague, this guide for a "recollection-at-home" will help you spend an hour or two in loving conversation with God, right where you are.

Inspiration for Your Prayer
Opus Dei - June Recollection Kit #StayHome

Who said you can't spend a few hours in quiet prayer in your very own home? Even if you are not with other people or cannot make it to an Opus Dei center, these materials can help you to do a "recollection" wherever you are. Find a quiet place that allows you to recollect interiorly, a few hours that you can set aside without distractions, and use the following kit. Count on our prayers!

Download the "Recollection at Home" material as a PDF (approximate duration: 120 minutes)



#1. INTRODUCTION

This month we celebrate the feast of the Holy Eucharist, Corpus Christi, and we want to renew our desire to receive our Lord and to be close to Him. In some countries, lockdowns are lifting and we are able to attend Mass and to visit our Lord in the Tabernacle on behalf of those still waiting. This is a time — like all times — to thank God for so many things that we normally take for granted and to pray for one another.

A recollection is a “mini-retreat”, a few hours of quiet prayer in which we can look at our lives in the presence of God. It can be difficult to find this time in the rush of ordinary life —and now the extraordinary rhythm of life in this pandemic presents its own challenges— but the best way to enjoy this recollection is to find a time and place we can pray and commit to spending it with our Lord: 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 ourselves in front of our Lord, to look at Him and to let Him look at us.

June 26 is the feast of St. Josemaría Escrivá, and we can start this month’s recollection with the spiritual communion he liked to pray: “I wish, my Lord, to receive You with the purity, humility and devotion with which Your Most Holy Mother received You, with the spirit and fervor of the saints.”

#2. MEDITATION (GUIDED PRAYER)

Corpus Christi: The Humility and the Love of God

In this meditation on the feast of Corpus Christi, we will consider how the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament reveals His humility and His tremendous love for us. You can listen to the meditation here.

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


#3. SPIRITUAL READING

“You write,” says St. Josemaria in The Way no. 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 the Prelate of Opus Dei’s letter on freedom, beginning with the section “Freedom of Spirit” here, or “Sunday, the Lord’s Day and Day of Joy” in The Time of God’s Presence here.


#4. GOSPEL READING

After the spiritual reading, we recommend going to the Gospel to meditate on the life of Christ. You can read St. John’s account of the miraculous multiplication of the loaves and our Lord’s discourse on the Bread of Life in chapter 6 of his Gospel here.

#5. 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. Pope Francis specifically asked us to pray it with our families during the month of May, but it’s a prayer that Christians have historically prayed at all times.

You can find a description of how to pray the Rosary here.

#6. TALK: I Have Called You Friends: Does God Have Friends?

The talk is a reflection on one aspect of Christian life, meant to help form concrete resolutions. Instead of an in-person talk, here you can read the article “I Have Called You Friends: Does God Have Friends?” God has always taken the first step in seeking our friendship, and by being His friend, we learn how to be good friends of others.


#7. 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. “Our Lord Jesus Christ, as though all the other proofs of his mercy were insufficient, institutes the Eucharist so that he can always be close to us.” (Christ is Passing By, 84). Do I thank the Lord that He has wanted to stay in the tabernacles of so many churches throughout the world? Am I responding to that closeness by trying to have devotion to Him in the Blessed Sacrament? Do I take for granted the possibility that I have of being able to visit Him physically?

2. “Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.” (Jn 6: 57). Do I receive communion with the desire to allow the Lord to take control of my life? Do I take advantage of that moment of intimacy with God to renew my commitment and to say yes to what He asks of me? Do I put the people around me, the projects that are in my hands, etc., into the sacrifice of the Mass?

3. Do I want to help many people to share in the fruits of Jesus selfless surrender on the Cross? How can I help my friends to live the Holy Mass better?

4. Cor Iesu Sacratissimum et Misericors, dona nobis pacem (Sacred and Merciful Heart of Jesus, grant us peace). Do I take refuge in the Mercy of God when I perceive that I am losing His peace? Do I find the source of the serenity my soul seeks in moments of prayer?

5. “I haven’t needed to learn how to forgive, because the Lord has taught me how to love.” (Furrow, 804). Do I pray to God for His grace when I distance myself from another person because I have not felt well treated? Do I try not to give too much importance to the defects of others?

6. “May you seek Christ: may you find Christ: may you love Christ.” (The Way, 382). The life of St. Josemaria and his writings can help inspire us to persevere in whatever environment we find ourselves in, and in whatever specific mission the Lord has entrusted to us. Do I seek his intercession as I endeavor to faithfully walk the path that God has intended for me?


#8. MEDITATION (GUIDED PRAYER)

"By Your Patience You Will Win Your Souls": The Virtue of Endurance

During these challenging times patience is a key virtue in our imitation of Christ. Praying about Christian patience can help us to live it. You can listen to the meditation here.

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


#9. FINAL PRAYER

Prayer to Saint Josemaría

O God, through the most Blessed Virgin Mary, you granted countless graces to your priest Saint Josemaría, choosing him as a most faithful instrument to found Opus Dei, a way to holiness through daily work and the ordinary duties of a Christian. Grant that I also may learn to turn all the circumstances and events of my life into opportunities to love you and serve the Church, the Pope and all souls, with joy and simplicity, lighting up the paths of the earth with faith and love. Through the intercession of Saint Josemaría please grant the favour I request (here make your petition). Amen.