November Recollection Kit (2022)

A recollection is a “mini-retreat,” a few hours of quiet prayer when we look at our lives in God's presence. This guide can help us spend an hour or two in loving conversation with God, right where we are.

"Recollect at home" written over background image of a desk

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: The Church in Heaven: All the Saints (30 minutes)

III. Spiritual Reading (10-15 minutes)

IV. Holy Rosary (20 minutes)

V. Examination of Conscience (5-10 minutes)

VI. Meditation: Our Dynamic Passivity (30 minutes)


I. INTRODUCTION

“The core content of the Gospel is this: The Kingdom of God is at hand. A milestone is set up in the flow of time; something new takes place. And an answer to this gift is demanded of man: conversion and faith. The center of this announcement is the message that God’s Kingdom is at hand. This announcement is the actual core of Jesus’ words and works. (...) When Jesus speaks of the Kingdom of God, he is quite simply proclaiming God, and proclaiming him to be the living God, who is able to act concretely in the world and in history and is even now so acting. He is telling us: “God exists” and “God is really God,” which means that he holds in his hands the threads of the world.

He is telling us: God is acting now.

“In this sense, Jesus' message is very simple (...) He is telling us: God is acting now—this is the hour when God is showing himself in history as its Lord, as the living God, in a way that goes beyond anything seen before. “Kingdom of God” is therefore an inadequate translation. It would be better to speak of God’s being-Lord, of his lordship.

“Jesus’ message of the Kingdom includes statements expressing its meager dimensions within history. It is like a grain of mustard, the tiniest of all seeds. It is like a leaven, a small quantity in comparison to the whole mass of the dough, yet decisively important for what becomes of the dough. (...) The “Kingdom of God” is a theme that runs through the whole of Jesus’ preaching. We can therefore understand it only in light of that preaching as a whole.

“God is always at the center of the discussion, yet precisely because Jesus himself is God—the Son—his entire preaching is a message about the mystery of his person, it is Christology, that is, discourse concerning God’s presence in his own action and being” (Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, ch. 3: "The Gospel of the Kingdom of God").


II. MEDITATION

Our devotion to the saints and our prayer for the dead remind us of the enormous power of the communion of the saints. Listen to this meditation on the saints and the unity of the Church 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.

This meditation is part of the podcast "Blessed Meditations." You can subscribe on Soundcloud.


III. 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 St. Josemaria's homily on the feast of Christ the KingAfterward, you can spend a few minutes with the New Testament, reading, for instance, the beatitudes in St. Matthew's Gospel (the Gospel reading for All Saints' Day in liturgical year A).


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 elect will see the face of God and bear his name on their foreheads" (Rev 22:4). Do I seek Christ in the Tabernacle and in prayer? Do I discover his face in serving others or in caring for the sick?

2. "'For what does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and suffers the loss of his own soul?' What use to man are all the things of the earth, all that our intelligence and will can aspire to? What is the point of all that, if it is all to come to an end and sink out of sight; if all the riches of this world are mere theatre props and scenery, and if after all this there is eternity for ever, and ever, and ever?" (Friends of God, 200).

3. "God himself will be with them and wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain, for all these things are passed away" (Rev 21:3-4). How does the thought of God's love in heaven comfort and encourage me?

4. Does the conviction that God is counting on me to help many people get to heaven enthuse me? Am I aware that my spouse and family are part of my path to God?

5. "Jesus wants to reign first of all in your heart, in your heart" (Christ is Passing By, 31). How do I let Christ live and reign in me and ask him to reign in my family?

6. Do I want to contribute, through my work and apostolate, in the "recapitulation of all things in Christ" (Eph 1:10)? Do I take an interest in what is happening in society and fulfill my civic duties? How can I make God's love more present in my environment?

7. Do I passionately love others’ freedom in all matters of opinion, without provoking unnecessary confrontation or tension? How do I value the richness of getting to know different types of people? Do I realize how much I learn from them?


    VI. MEDITATION

    Where should we look for the kingdom of God? God sends signs to help us discover his love for us. 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.

    This meditation is part of the podcast "Blessed Meditations." You can subscribe on Soundcloud.