Step #1: Lectio / Read
Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples
and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out
and to cure every disease and every illness.
The names of the Twelve Apostles are these:
first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew;
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John;
Philip and Bartholomew,
Thomas and Matthew the tax collector;
James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus;
Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot
who betrayed Jesus.
Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus,
“Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town.
Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Recently, I was privileged to be able to study abroad in Rome, Italy. I was there for four months and they were filled with many graces. One of the biggest graces I received was being able to pray in front of the tombs of several of these great saints. I prayed in front of Saint Peter in his basilica. I prayed in front of Saints Philip and James the Lesser in the Basilica Santi Apostoli right by my school.
But even as a seminarian, I was struggling to understand why we would pray before the tombs of these saints when the Eucharistic presence of our Lord was just a couple feet away. I just didn't understand…
But as I hung out with more senior seminarians and other role models in my life who have been great examples of holiness for me, I began to see in my heart why we pray before the remains of these saints. It is because they allowed their hearts to become tabernacles for our Lord, to become so filled with the Holy Spirit that when strangers would meet one of these Apostles when they were walking around, they would be meeting God through this person. When other people would meet these saints, they would become attracted their joy, their zeal, and want to know the reason for it. It opened the door of the strangers’ hearts to an encounter with the living God.
I know now that the reason we pray before these saints now is that they allowed God to become so present in their hearts and lives that it sanctified everything about them right down to their bones. These Apostles didn’t have anything that we don’t. They were baptized as we were baptized. They talked to Jesus and had his physical presence, and we have it in the Eucharist twenty-four seven around the world. They received the gift of the Holy Spirit and so do we at Confirmation.
In short, we have everything they did. We have all we need to become great saints.
St. Peter frequently spoke before he thought. Jesus even told him once, “Get behind me Satan!” He was a young man, a humble fisherman. Yet it was one saint’s faith that Jesus used to begin the family that is the Catholic Church.
What will He do with yours?
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
What holds you back from believing you can become a great saint?
What are some little ways or small things you can do to start taking steps towards Jesus today?
Who is your favorite saint and why?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
"Lord, help me to want to be who you made me to be."
"Mary, allow me the grace to be more attentive to the voice of your Son."
"St. Peter, allow me to be as close to Jesus as you were and are."
For the Rest of Your Day...
Take five minutes and pray for the intercession of your favorite saint, asking him or her to help you let the Lord into your heart in a new way.
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Today's prayer was prepared by John McFadden, seminarian for the Diocese of Rockford.