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).
Are you angry right now? Probably. After all it is 2020 and there is plenty to be angry about.
Anger can be a difficult thing for Christians to talk about, and an even more difficult thing for Christians to handle. We tend to end up on one of two extremes. Either anger is always sinful and should be avoided and repressed at all costs (wrong and dangerous), or everything that makes us angry should begin a crusade where we indulge completely in our anger and crush our enemies (also wrong and dangerous).
Anger is an emotion. By itself, it has no moral value. Ideally, we should use the energy that anger generates to try to right wrongs and promote justice. Anger should be a tool, not a weapon. It shouldn't be rejected, but it should be used with precision and care. If we bottle it up, it can lead to self-loathing and depression. If we indulge and foster it, we will end up hurting others and ourselves.
I remember going into my spiritual directors office as a seminarian. I told him I was angry that I kept committing the same sins over and over again. He looked at me and said, "No you are not. You are not nearly angry enough. If you were actually angry, you would do something about your sinful habits." It was a little harsh, but in his wisdom he knew it was the kick in the pants I needed to start changing things.
It's easy to be angry at the world, at the absolute mess that is our current situation. We can easily shout at the computer screen, write seemingly righteous posts on social media, blame others for their sins and demand that they repent. But what is far more difficult, and what is the path of the saint, is to first reform ourselves.
After all, look at how patient God has been with you! Haven't you committed the same sins over and over again? Has God struck you with lightning and condemned you to hell? Nope! He's giving you time to repent. He's calling you back to himself. He's constantly offering you his love and mercy. So instead of lashing out at the world, perhaps we could look at the world with at least some of the mercy that God uses when he looks at us. Instead of using the energy of anger on social media, we can point it back on our sinfulness, loving ourselves as God loves us, and taking the first steps to reform our sinful habits.
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.
What parts of your life and/or the world are making you angry right now that you need to give over to the Lord?
In your life, are there habits or patterns of sin that you need to be more angry about in order to change them?
How can you be merciful to the world and those around you today in concrete ways?
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.
"Teach me your mercy."
"I am sorry for my sins."
"Jesus, I trust in you."
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?
Unplug today! Put down your phone, close the computer, and get off of social media. Don't let the world get you angry today, instead spend time relaxing or being with people who bring you joy.
Smartphone Lock Screen
The following image is here for you to save and use as a background or lock screen on your smartphone or device to help you carry today's Lectio Divina with you the rest of the day.
Today’s Prayer was prepared by Fr. Anthony Sciarappa who was ordained in 2016 and is a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.