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).
Have you ever had an unbelievably bad day? One of those days when everything is going wrong, and just when you think it can’t get any worse, it actually does? That seems to be the situation we find Tobit in today. He goes blind because of bird droppings, ends up with a bleating goat in his house, and gets in a fight with his wife. When I first read today’s first reading, I honestly laughed at how seemingly ridiculous this situation was. Tobit was having a bad stroke of luck that seemed almost too bad to be true. However, I think we can all relate to Tobit’s situation at one point or another. Some days, no matter how hard we try to serve the Lord and accept whatever is thrown our way, it seems like we just can’t win.
During these rough times, it is easy for us to lose hope in God. We begin to doubt that He truly wants the best for us and that He alone can truly satisfy. We grow bitter and find fault with God’s ways when God’s plan does not fit our own. We allow our fear to get in the way and tell us that God cannot really be who He says He is, but for God to say one thing and do something different would contradict His very nature.
Often, instead of running to God, we allow our feelings of anger and bitterness to grow inside of us and end up taking them out on the people we love. We lose sight of the many blessings that still surround us.
So where do we go from here?
The way I see it, we have two options. We can dwell indefinitely in our anger and sadness, or we can pick ourselves up and continue to praise the Lord. It can definitely be tempting to stay in our feelings of anger and sadness, but at the end of the day, it is not what will bring us healing. Allow the Lord to speak truth and healing into your heart in those moments of distress. Continue to seek out the Lord and praise Him even in the midst of the storm. Never forget that you are abundantly blessed.
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.
Have you ever had a day, or a period in your life when it felt like everything went wrong? Did you continue to trust in God or did you respond in lack of trust like Tobit did in the reading today?
How can you prepare yourself now so that you can stay focused on God during those tough days?
Why do you think we so often turn from God in our struggles when we know He is the only answer?
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."
"Here's my life Lord."
"Your Will be done, God."
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?
Take some time to write out your blessings. Use that list to help you turn back to God next time you have an unbelievably bad day.
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 Maggie Overbeck, Assistant Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.