Monday 3 April 2023

Meditations After Holy Communion - Father Edward Looney - Guided Meditations for Every Sunday and Other Holy Days

Meditations After Holy Communion: 
Guided Meditations for Every Sunday and Other Holy Days
Fr. Edward Looney
ISBN 9781644133446
eISBN 9781644133453

This is the seventh volume from Father Looney ait is another great read and resource for growth in your spiritual life. I had not read the subtitle of the book ‘Guided Meditations for Every Sunday and Other Holy Days’ So I was expecting meditations for daily mass as well. But even with that disappointment this was a wonderful read. Because of the formatting of the book you could pick it up and start on any given Sunday. In total there are 65 meditations. The reflections and other chapters in the order they appear is:

How to Use This Book
Advent and Christmas
First Sunday of Advent: I Wait for the Lord
Second Sunday of Advent: Prepare the Way of the Lord
Third Sunday of Advent: Rejoice! 
Fourth Sunday of Advent: I Carry Christ with Me
Christmas: House of Bread
The Holy Family: Praying for Your Family 
Mary, the Mother of God (January 1); Mary Treasured in Her Heart
Epiphany: My Gift for Jesus 
The Baptism of the Lord: Be Well Pleased with Me

Lent and Easter
Ash Wednesday: Hungering for the Lord
First Sunday of Lent: Overcoming Temptation
Second Sunday of Lent: Remaining with the Lord
Third Sunday of Lent: What Does Jesus Know about You? 
Fourth Sunday of Lent: “Lord, I Believe”
Fifth Sunday of Lent: Tell or Ask Jesus Anything
Palm Sunday: Jesus, Save Us! 
Holy Thursday: The Apostles’ First Communion
Good Friday: The Day with No Mass
Holy Saturday Celebrating the Eucharist after the Crucifixion
Easter Sunday: Let Jesus Speak to You
Second Sunday of Easter: Divine Mercy Sunday: Jesus, I Trust in You!
Third Sunday of Easter: Stay with Us, Lord
Fourth Sunday of Easter: Jesus Feeds His Sheep
Fifth Sunday of Easter: Remembering My First Holy Communion
Sixth Sunday of Easter: Help Me to Love
Seventh Sunday of Easter: Jesus Wants Us to Go!
Pentecost: The Power of the Holy Spirit

Ordinary Time
The Holy Trinity: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit 
The Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ: The Sacrament of Unity
Second Sunday: Affirmation of Belief
Third Sunday: Are You Prepared?
Fourth Sunday: Remembering God’s Love
Fifth Sunday: A Song of Praise
Sixth Sunday: Calm the Storm of My Life
Seventh Sunday: Give Me Strength for the Week
Eighth Sunday: Anima Christi
Ninth Sunday: What Holy Communion Does for Us
Tenth Sunday: Heal Me, Lord! 
Eleventh Sunday: Give Me Joy!
Twelfth Sunday: A Bold Request
Thirteenth Sunday: In Reparation for My Sins
Fourteenth Sunday: In Reparation for the Sins of the World
Fifteenth Sunday: For the Conversion of Sinners
Sixteenth Sunday: Harvesting the Fruits 
Seventeenth Sunday: Longing for Jesus 
Eighteenth Sunday: A Powerful Moment with the Eucharist
Nineteenth Sunday: Do You Want Eternal Life? 
Twentieth Sunday: In Union with the Church throughout the World
Twenty-First Sunday: In Union with the Poor
Twenty-Second Sunday: In Union with Those before You
Twenty-Third Sunday: A Heart-to-Heart with Jesus
Twenty-Fourth Sunday: A Pledge of Love and Service
Twenty-Fifth Sunday: Invited to the Feast
Twenty-Sixth Sunday: Asking for Forgiveness
Twenty-Seventh Sunday: Mary’s First Reception of Holy Communion
Twenty-Eighth Sunday: Mary’s Last Communion
Twenty-Ninth Sunday: Behold the Lamb!
Thirtieth Sunday: For the Holy Souls
Thirty-First Sunday: Thanksgiving
Thirty-Second Sunday: Your Last Communion
Thirty-Third Sunday: Send Us Your Angels
Jesus Christ, King of the Universe: An Audience with the King

Other Holy Days
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15): Let Me Live in Your Presence One Day
All Saints’ Day (November 1): In Communion with the Saints
Immaculate Conception (December 8): God Has Chosen Me
About the Author

I would have loved to seen a few more Feasts of Mary covered, and the Feasts of Saint Joseph, and maybe some of the authors favourite saints and the optional readings for those feast days. The description of the volume is:

“In what promises to become a spiritual classic, Fr. Edward Looney’s Meditations after Holy Communion guides your prayers during those intimate moments with the Lord following Holy Communion, elevating your soul and mind and leading you into a deeper relationship with Christ.

Inspired by the work of Fr. Daniel Lord, S.J., Fr. Looney offers here a method of prayer that is sure to renew within you the practice of fruitful Eucharistic prayer. He will guide you through each Sunday of the year with meditations tied to the liturgical seasons, ensuring that you are aligned not only with Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, and Ordinary Time, but also with the universal Church, now and throughout the ages.

Each meditation introduces you to a topic for reflection and provides points to ponder and a short prayer. These guided meditations are especially helpful in those moments when you return to your pew, recollect after Mass, or enter into prayer with your family. Regardless of how you use it, this book is sure to reinforce your belief in the Real Presence and teach you how to ponder and pray to our Eucharistic Lord.

Truly, Christ is present in the Eucharist and in all the tabernacles of the world. But He is also present in us each time we receive Him. With these exhilarating meditations by Fr. Looney, you can fully appreciate this striking fact and maximize those grace-filled moments following Holy Communion.”

In the introduction Father Looney states:

“I remember, as a young boy, entering our parish church for Sunday Mass, kneeling after entering the pew, and saying a few short prayers. Now, as a priest, I am amazed by the countless faithful who do that same ritual I did in my youth. Today, because of our busy schedules, it’s possible that there is no time for silent prayer before Mass. Maybe you are lucky if you get there in time for the opening song. But if you do arrive early, what do you do in those moments before Mass begins? Maybe it is a simple exchange with God about what is weighing most on your heart or mind. Or there might be a prayer you usually recite before Mass.”

And further on:

“I hope that this book will become an entry point to a lifelong habit of dialogue with our Lord following your reception of Holy Communion, when He comes to dwell under your roof. My aim in this book is to provide you with topics to meditate on. After introducing each meditation, I explain how you can engage it for a few moments of quiet prayer and reflection, and then I close with a short prayer capitulating the topic of the week.”

That introduction ends with these words:

“Truly Christ is present in the Eucharist, present in all the tabernacles of the world. But He is also present in us each time we receive Him. And just as we speak to Christ reserved in the tabernacle or the monstrance, we can speak to Him in those intimate moments following Holy Communion. I hope, like me, you will be able to acclaim at every Mass, “Truly it is You!””

A Sample reflection is:

Immaculate Conception (December 8)
God Has Chosen Me

The feast of the Immaculate Conception recalls God’s saving work in history and, in a singular way, in the life of Mary. Due to the Fall of Adam and Eve, the wrong in the world had to be put right again, and this was to be accomplished by the death of Jesus on the Cross. By the grace of the Cross, the original disobedience was corrected by the obedience of Jesus, who died willingly for sinners. The ancient tree that brought about the curse of sin was corrected by the tree of life, on which hung the Savior of the world. 

In the order of time, the Father sent His son, Jesus, to become incarnate of the Virgin Mary. God chose Mary for this special task, to which she assented when she gave her fiat — that is, “let it be done to me” — during the angel Gabriel’s visit to her home in Nazareth. Because God chose Mary for this special role in salvation history, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception remembers God’s saving action in the life of Mary from the very moment of her conception. God foresaw the merits of the Cross and applied the graces of redemption to Mary before the action occurred in history, thereby preserving her from the taint of Original Sin and allowing her to be free from sin throughout her life. 

God chose Mary for a special mission in history. He has chosen you and me for a special mission too. Through holy Baptism, the Original Sin in us was wiped away, and we were claimed for Christ Jesus by the sign of the Cross and called into mission as disciples of Jesus. God chose you. Mary discovered her calling by Gabriel’s announcement. We discover our calling by following God’s voice deep within us. One way we can discern how God chose us is to be still after receiving Holy Communion, knowing that God is within us and wants to speak to us in that moment. 

Points to Ponder
God preserved Mary from all sin. What sin do you wish Jesus would take away from your life? God chose Mary to be the Mother of Jesus. Can you trace how God called you at particular moments in your life for a special purpose? What was God’s calling for you last week? How did you rise to the occasion? How is God calling you, choosing you, directing you right now? Spend a few moments in silence and be attentive to how God is working deep within you. Thank You, Jesus, for choosing me to be Your disciple and to be Your follower. I wish to follow Your call for my life in all that I do. Help me, strengthened by the Eucharist I have received, to remain faithful to You and the way You have chosen me to serve in the world.”

I hope that sample mediation give you a feel for the volume. It is well written, and easy to engage with. It is a great tool to kick start meditation and reflection after mass. And will benefit any Catholic readers. I can easily recommend this volume.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2023 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Fr. Edward Looney:
A Heart Like Mary's: 31 Daily Meditations to Help You Live and Love as She Does
Our Lady of Good Help Mary's Message and Mission for Adele Brise and the World
A Rosary Litany
Our Lady of Good Help Prayer Book For Pilgrims

Lenten Journey with Mother Mary
Behold the Handmaid of the Lord: A 10-Day Personal Retreat with St. Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary
Praying with the Church Through Advent
Praying with the Church Through Lent

Children’s Books:
Little Chapels, Grateful Hearts
The Story of Sister Adele and Our Lady of Champion
Breakfast in Bethlehem
Fr. Looney's Christmas Stories

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