Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
I find it interesting that Paul asked for relief from “a thorn in him” that kept beating him from being too elated, perhaps even conceited. I mean, this is coming from a guy who was happy for being beaten because he could align it to Jesus’ sufferings.
For nearly 20 years, I was an Executive in Corporate America. I learned that pride was looked upon as a good trait - it showed confidence in a position of leadership. But throughout my career, I was promoted to positions where I was “over my head” and put in roles that I have never been in before. As a result, I had to learn quickly and rely on some close mentors who helped me to keep the appearance of authority and to show everyone, “Hey, I got this…”
Since I left my executive career, I have been persecuted by some and have had my own fears and doubts as I transform my life to serve God.
But, I am grateful he allows me to struggle with my weaknesses. Why? Because of my faith, I have been given humility in order to surrender to God. Only through deep prayer and building a loving relationship with him will He grace me with strength and virtues. I, like Paul, am learning to be ‘ content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.’
I am a humble child, on my knees, asking to do His will in every aspect of my life and I can feel Him bestowing me with his grace every day. The more I pray, the more I trust, the more grace he grants me, and it is awesome! I have relied on Him to get me through some of the most intense and stressful times of my personal and professional life. And in each of my trials, I found good in the bad, only because of Him and my love and dependence on Him.
Whatever you are struggling with - pride, fear, persecution, addiction, mental/physical illness, family/relationship issues, peer pressures, professional problems, vocation discernment - you must always trust that God wants you right where you are at this very moment. And you must pray and build a relationship with Him, your own unique relationship, so he can lead you to the wonderful person He made you to be.
No matter what - you need God. Pray and ask Him what to do, how to serve Him, how to live your life. And most of all, trust in him completely, even if you must keep your thorns – for His grace is sufficient for you.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
Lord, I accept the thorns in my life because I have You by my side; what is it you want me to learn?
How can I use my to help me live closer to You, to trust You more?
How can my weaknesses make me stronger with Your grace?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"Jesus, I trust in You."
"You love me."
"Your grace is sufficient."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Find a time this week to go to Eucharistic Adoration or, if that is not available where you live, to spend quiet time in the Church with the Lord in the Tabernacle. Invite Him into the struggles - the thorns - in your life and ask Him for the grace to trust Him in those struggles.
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Today’s Prayer was prepared by Kendra Von Esh, a Speaker and Author, inspiring others to lead with compassion and enrich their lives through faith and prayer.
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