Reflection on ‘Gaudete et Exsultate’

Reflection and prayer
on two passages from Pope Francis’
Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate
(Rejoice and be Glad).

(Suggested time 15 minutes)

Please read through these two passages

“16. This holiness to which the Lord calls you will grow through small gestures. Here is an example: a woman goes shopping, she meets a neighbour and they begin to speak, and the gossip starts. But she says in her heart: “No, I will not speak badly of anyone”. This is a step forward in holiness.

Later, at home, one of her children wants to talk to her about his hopes and dreams, and even though she is tired, she sits down and listens with patience and love. That is another sacrifice that brings holiness. Later she experiences some anxiety, but recalling the love of the Virgin Mary, she takes her rosary and prays with faith. Yet another path of holiness. Later still, she goes out onto the street, encounters a poor person and stops to say a kind word to him.

One more step.

“29. This does not mean ignoring the need for moments of quiet, solitude and silence before God. Quite the contrary. The presence of constantly new gadgets, the excitement of travel and an endless array of consumer goods at times leave no room for God’s voice to be heard. We are overwhelmed by words, by superficial pleasures and by an increasing din, filled not by joy but rather by the discontent of those whose lives have lost meaning. How can we fail to realize the need to stop this rat race and to recover the personal space needed to carry on a heartfelt dialogue with God?”

Reflection: we all wonder about the time we should spend in action and the time we should spend in prayer. We also need to attend to the practical matters of our life. There does not need to be a contradiction. What time we can give to God, he will use and, if we see our life as an offering to God, then everything we do brings us closer to him.

Prayer suggestion: take a few deep slow breaths and pray to the Holy Spirit to guide you. Reflect on what you have done so far in the day or the day before. Look for God; where was he? What was he trying to say to me in all that happened and all the conversations and thoughts I had? Spend some quiet time just thanking him. He was there, even if it was not clear.

Then spend some time just quietly repeating, “Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.”

fillanReflection on ‘Gaudete et Exsultate’