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).
Today is the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls Day). It comes just one day after the Solemnity of All Saints (All Saints Day). Those two names sound quite a bit alike, don’t they? It would not be surprising if you’re wondering what exactly they mean, and what the difference is between them.
All Saints Day is a big day in our church. Always on November 1st, it is a holy day in which all Catholics are obligated to attend Mass. On this day we give recognition to all the souls in heaven. It’s true, the Church has specific feast days for canonized Saints, but there are a plenty more than 365 souls in heaven, and we’d have a really hard time giving every single one of those souls their own feast day. So, this is the day we celebrate all of them together. Anyone and everyone who has been granted passage into eternal life in heaven with our Lord is remembered and recognized on All Saints Day. Today, we strive to live our own lives as these souls in heaven have, with the fervent hope that we will join them when God calls us to Him.
That was yesterday, and today is All Souls Day. While this day is certainly related to All Saints Day, the spirit of today has more of a pensive and prayerful demeanor to it. Today, we pray to ask for God’s mercy for those who have gone before us, but are not perfectly cleansed from venial sins, or have not fully atoned for the transgressions they committed while they were alive on Earth. Of course, it is those souls in Purgatory for which we pray. We can help them with our prayers, and we can hasten their purification.
Take some time today, and every year on these days, to contemplate the importance of these two liturgical days in our beautiful Church. Along with these souls we are commemorating on these two days, we ourselves are also members of the body of Christ, and we all realize unmeasurable grace from the loving prayers of all of our brothers and sisters, whether they be here on this earth or in heaven.
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 are some things that stuck out to you from yesterday's celebration of All Saints? What are things on your mind today, on All Souls Day?
In what ways is God working in your life right now to move you towards sanctity, preparing you to leave behind this world and be with him for eternity?
How are you going to offer specific prayers and sacrifices today for those awaiting joining God in heaven for eternity?
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.
"I pray for the souls in purgatory."
"I long to be a saint."
"Help me to follow you, Jesus."
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?
Make an act of prayer or reparation today for the souls in purgatory. Go to a special Mass for the dead, go pray at a cemetery, fast from a meal or a second cup of coffee, take a cold shower...whatever it is, do something that you can offer for the souls in purgatory awaiting heavenly glory.
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 Jim Lundgren, a parishioner at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.
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.