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).
The Beatitudes are the attitudes a Christian must take on in order to be counted among the Saints we celebrate today. Today the Church celebrates all of the Saints in Heaven. As a Church we ask saints to help us become more like Christ, as they are, so we too can be in Heaven together for eternity. That makes me want to get started and check my attitude and see if it’s a beatitude.
The passage starts off with “poor in spirit” ... not the world’s most alluring virtue, but the beatitudes say it will “give us the Kingdom of Heaven.” To be poor in spirit is not to be lacking in spiritual things, but rather the opposite. To be poor in spirit is to be humble and know that we must rely on God for everything. We cannot do it on our own, we need His strength. Those who are poor in material goods have to rely on God and the goodness of others to help them survive, they aren’t always able to do it on their own. God wants us to feel that way too about life and go to Him for everything: to trust that He will care for us out of Love. When we are poor in spirit, we trust Him with our lives and rely on Him for our happiness.
Passing by the whole list, let’s stop at the last beatitude. I think this one is the hardest. “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”
Another way of saying it is “count it as a happiness when you are insulted and hated because you love Jesus.” The world does not know Jesus. They think He was maybe just a good teacher, if they even believe he lived at all. They aren’t in love with Him and His ways, and it’s not really a surprise. They didn’t like him when he was physically in their midst. He healed them, loved them, fed them, and cared for them and they still crucified Him. If we do the same things, they will crucify us too, most likely not literally, but in the way they treat us we will be beat down emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. When this happens, do we count it as a blessing, as a happy attitude of being a Christian? Or do we run the other way as fast as we can?
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.
Read back through the beatitudes. Which ones do you struggle with?
How can you live out the beatitudes? How can you be poor in spirit? How can you embrace being persecuted?
How can you embrace in God's call to be a saint?
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.
"Make me a saint."
"Rejoice and be glad."
"My attitudes should reflect the beatitudes."
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?
Pray through the beatitudes again. Find one tangible way you can act on them today.
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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 Katie Herzing, a former youth minister turned parish evanglization consultant living in North Carolina.
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