October 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 guide can help us spend an hour or two in loving conversation with God, right where we are.

"Recollect at home" written over autumn leaf background

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: Saying 'Yes' to God (30 minutes)

III. Spiritual Reading (10-15 minutes)

IV. Holy Rosary (20 minutes)

V. Examination of Conscience (5-10 minutes)

VI. Meditation: The Christian Virtue of Poverty (30 minutes)


I. INTRODUCTION

Fill me with your spirit, and in this way i will do your will.

On October 2, 1928, the feast of the Guardian Angels, Opus Dei was born. God willed to spark St. Josemaria with a divine restlessness, a zeal to remind everyone of the universal call to holiness and the possibility of sanctifying the ordinary realities of daily life, both familial and professional.

Thereafter, on this anniversary each year, he raised his heart to the Lord in childlike simplicity, giving thanks and asking his guardian angel to help him enter into ever-greater intimacy with God. "This morning," he wrote on October 2, 1931, "I asked my angel to teach me to love Jesus as much as he loves him."

His prayer was deep and serene: "What childish things I said to my Lord! With the trusting confidence of a child who speaks to the Great Friend, of whose love he is sure: 'May I live only for your Work,' I asked him, 'may I live only for your Glory, may I live only for your Love...' I do everything wrong: my Jesus, it is impossible for me to do anything right. Help me... Fill me with Your Spirit and in this way I will do Your Will. I want to do it. If I do not do it... it is because you do not help me" (Intimate Notes, St. Josemaria, October 2, 1931).


II. MEDITATION

This moment is the time we have to be with the Lord, and he calls us to be holy. You can listen to this meditation on responding to God's call 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 St. Josemaria's homily "The Richness of Ordinary Life."Afterward, you can spend a few minutes with the Gospel, reading, for instance, St. John's account of Jesus predicting his death in chapter 12 of his Gospel.


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. "Gratias tibi, Deus, gratias tibi! Our lives must be canticles of thanksgiving, because of the way Opus Dei came to be. You have done it all, Lord..." (Notes from a meditation, March 27, 1975). Do I give thanks to God for the Work and for the initiatives promoted by people of Opus Dei, with their friends and acquaintances?

2. "Lift up your eyes and look at the fields that are golden for harvest" (Jn 4:35). Do I recognize that God may be relying on me to carry this part of the Church forward? How do I allow the Lord to inspire me with this apostolic panorama?

3. St. Josemaría reminds us: "your ordinary contact with God takes place where your fellow men, your yearnings, your work and your affections are" (Passionately Loving the World). In which of these areas might I discover and make our Lord more known?

4. "The Lord chose us before the foundation of the world to be saints," St. Paul reminds us (Eph. 1:4). What new dreams does the knowledge that I have been chosen by God with a love of predilection bring me to consider? How can I share them with my family?

5. "Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil" (Prayer to St. Michael). St. Michael is a patron of Opus Dei. When could I rely more on his protection?

6. Do I pray for the whole Church, especially for the Pope and the bishops, trusting that my prayer is a real, effective help?

7. The Rosary is "a powerful weapon to overcome our inner struggle and help all souls" (Holy Rosary, Prologue). What needs do I entrust to our Lady in the Rosary? Do I try to pray the Holy Rosary, when I can, with my whole family?


VI. MEDITATION

What does it mean to follow Christ in the middle of the world? How can we be free to give our hearts to God? 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.