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: Fortitude (30 minutes)
III. Spiritual Reading (10-15 minutes)
IV. Holy Rosary (20 minutes)
V. Examination of Conscience (5-10 minutes)
VI. Meditation: Interior Struggle (30 minutes)
The parable of the talents invites us to understand that our Creator has endowed each of us with unique talents — great and small, material and spiritual — that we should cherish and try to multiply. We risk hiding or underestimating these gifts out of false prudence and false humility. Instead of concealing them, we should try to develop them and give thanks for the divine love and trust they reveal.
The story of the paralytic at the pool provides more insight into God's dreams for each of us. The encounter between Jesus and the paralytic shows that God's love is inclusive and unconditional. It embraces every human being and should serve as a model for our relationships with others. As Catholics, we should open our hearts wide with love for our relatives, neighbours, colleagues, and passers-by. This openness requires us to genuinely draw near, deeply understand, and constantly be willing to assist others, both spiritually and materially.
As believers, our missions is to reflect God's love in the world. By nurturing and sharing the talents that have been entrusted to us and by extending our hands and hearts to those around us, we not only honour God's dreams for us but also become living instruments of His love and mercy in the world.
Jesus tells his disciples that he does not call them to an easy life: his call demands sacrifice. You can listen to this meditation on fortitude 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 "Peter at the Helm, God in the Boat," on St. Josemaria and other saints' testimony about love for the Pope and trust in God. 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. "You and I, unlike him, often pride ourselves stupidly on the gifts and talents we have received [...]. What do you have that you have not received from God? And if what you have, you have received, why do you boast as if you had not received it?" (Friends of God, 112). Do I foster within myself a deep gratitude to God, born of humility, for all that I have received?
2. He called his servants and gave them his goods. 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 strive to develop the talents I have received in order to carry out the mission God has entrusted to me?
3. I will entrust you with much: enter into your master's joy (Mt 25, 23). The people around us have talents that would yield great fruit if they were put to use for the Lord. Do I know how to appreciate others' talents without comparing myself or envying them? How do I help others cultivate their talents and use them to 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 Jesus to make me an instrument of his grace in order 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" (Furrow, 193).
6. Do I treat my friends gently, respectfully, and affectionately, as Jesus would? Do I pray for them and seek to open up new 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 myself to be helped by advice or corrections from my family, friends, and colleagues?
Throughout the Gospel, our Lord emphasized the need for interior struggle, relying on God's grace to help us. What does it mean to try to enter through the narrow gate? 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.