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.
II. Meditation: Simplicity (30 minutes)
III. Spiritual Reading (10-15 minutes)
IV. Holy Rosary (20 minutes)
V. Examination of Conscience (5-10 minutes)
VI. Meditation: Lord, I am a Sinner (30 minutes)
What Christ has given us is multiplied in its giving!
"These gifts, in addition to their natural qualities, thus represent the riches that the Lord Jesus has bequeathed to us as a legacy, so that we may make them productive," and the parable of the talents "stresses the inner disposition necessary to accept and develop this gift."
"Fear is the wrong attitude: the servant who is afraid of his master and fears his return hides the coin in the earth and it does not produce any fruit. This happens, for example, to those who after receiving Baptism, Communion and Confirmation subsequently bury these gifts beneath a blanket of prejudice, beneath a false image of God that paralyzes faith and good works, thus betraying the Lord's expectations. However, the parable places a greater emphasis on the good fruits brought by the disciples who, happy with the gift they received, did not keep it hidden with fear and jealousy but made it profitable by sharing it and partaking in it. Yes, what Christ has given us is multiplied in its giving!" (Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus, November 16, 2008)
The apostle Bartholomew, whose feast we celebrated recently, was known for his simplicity and guilelessness. Let us ask for the grace of simplicity and humility, and never rely merely on appearance or facade. 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 St. Josemaria's homily "Working for God," or the article "An Ever Joyful Apostle." Afterward, you can read the parable of the talents in St. Matthew's 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. We often pride ourselves foolishly on the gifts and talents we have received, but "what do you possess that you have not received from God? And if you have received what you have, why do you boast as if you had not received it?" (Friends of God, n. 112). Moved by true humility, do I cultivate deep inner gratitude to the Lord for all that I have received?
2. "He called his servants and gave them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another only one, to each according to his ability" (Mt 25:14-15). Do I look forward to developing the talents I have received to carry out the mission God has entrusted to me?
3. "I will set you over much: enter into the joy of your master" (Mt 25:23). The people around me have talents that, in the Lord's service, would yield much. Do I know how to value others' talents without envy or comparison? How do I help them develop their talents and serve God and others?
4. "'Do you want to be cured?' The sick man answered, "Lord, I have no one to put me in the pool" (Jn 5:7). Do I want the Lord to make me an instrument of his grace to heal and cure many people?
5. "Those who have met Christ cannot shut themselves in their own little world: how sad such a limitation would be! They must open out like a fan in order to reach all souls. Each one has to create — and widen — a circle of friends, whom he can influence with his professional prestige, with his behaviour, with his friendship, so that Christ may exercise his influence by means of that professional prestige, that behaviour, that friendship." (Furrow, n. 193).
6. Do I treat my friends as Jesus Christ would, with great gentleness, respect and affection? Do I pray for them and seek to open horizons in their lives, respecting their freedom?
7. "Jesus said to him, 'Rise, take up your mat and walk'" (Jn 5:8). Do I allow my friends, family, and acquaintances to help, advise, and correct me?
God wants us to enter into a relationship with him, to heal what is broken in us. He asks us, as he asked Adam, "Where are you?" 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.