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).
You ever had a moment when you were unprepared? If you’re anything like me, life continually hits you in the face like a 2x4 because of your unpreparedness. Like the time I tried out for freshman football and forgot to wear my pads to practice (I got cut from that team) or the time that I planned a first date with the girl I was interested in (now wife) on a Friday during Lent and forgot to tell her we weren’t going to dinner (somehow I got lucky and she married me). Being unprepared sucks.
And yet, how often are we unprepared in the most important matters, in our spiritual lives? If you take the parable of the ten virgins in today’s Gospel, you find an account of people who are living their lives unprepared, unfocused on the true demands and call of the Gospel. You could analogize the lamps to the gift of faith – God has given it to us, but how often do we let it run out and not seek the additional grace in order to keep the fire of faith alive?
Jesus’s lesson for us today is short and sweet: do not take for granted the faith that I have given you. Instead, be like the wise virgins and employ the means necessary to grow your faith and keep the fire for Christ alive. Daily prayer, frequenting the Sacraments, studying the Scriptures and Church teaching, having good authentic friends who can hold you accountable and call you on, these are the means by which we can continue to grow in holiness and to be continually prepared for the coming of the Lord.
In college, my group of friends were fond of the saying memento mori, Latin for “remember thy death.” It’s a sobering reality, but we know neither the time nor the hour when we will pass from this life into the next. We know neither the time nor the hour when Christ will come. We are not the masters of our universe and cannot predicate the moments and situations we will be whisked in to demonstrate heroic virtue, evangelization, and holiness. But what we can do is be prepared, to live our lives always consistent with a life dedicated to Christ, and to always remember that this life we have is the Lord’s to begin with, a precious gift that we must nourish through holiness and devotion to Him alone.
So, the question is, are you ready for Him? Stay awake. Always be ready for the One who is always ready for you. AMDG.
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.
Do you feel unprepared for everything or anything?
Does your unpreparedness make you feel unable to share the Gospel or live the life of a saint today?
Are you awake? Are you ready for the second coming?
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 want to love you today."
"I want to be prepared to experience your love."
"Help me stay awake."
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?
Are you counting on everyone else to take care of the thing that the Lord is calling you to do today? Take a moment to ask the Lord who He wants you to serve today. Then go do it!
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"Today's prayer was prepared by Matthew Maxwell, a graduate of Franciscan University currently working as a Youth Minister in St. Louis.
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