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).
Personally, I am very prone to hyperbole. If you know me, you'll know that if I'm mad, I'm going to make some really intensely large statement about what I'm going to do in my anger ("I'll never come back to this place!"). If I'm excited, it's probably way worse ("there has never, in the history of mankind, been something more delicious than this chipotle burrito!"). I just always want to be sure people understand the degree to which I feel the thing I feel. It's probably not the most ideal thing; it would be much better to simply use words more accurately and really describe how I feel.
Our most recent pope before Pope Francis was Pope Benedict XVI, and he was not one for the sort of hyperbole that I am prone to. Pope Benedict, in fact, was known for being incredibly precise with his words, using them sparingly unless he was writing a book, in which case he would use MANY of them, but always do so in a way that left you knowing he meant every word. And so this man, who is not like me, but instead says precisely what he means, once said this: "The Holy Spirit is fire; whoever does not want to be burned should not come near Him."
In today's Second Reading, St. Paul reflects on the fact that we have life only in and through the Spirit of Jesus Christ, who was raised from the dead and now gives life to our bodies. And yet this Spirit is the Spirit that Pope Benedict calls fire. What does that mean for those of us who are Christians, and therefore are called to a life in the Holy Spirit?
It means that we will all, at one point or another, be burned. Each of us, if we are authentically living a life in the Holy Spirit, will be led to places we could not have possibly imagined. The burning will often come when we're led to places of immense difficulty; the good news, though, is that the Spirit will not leave us in that place, but will lead us to safety.
A life in the Holy Spirit is a life of immense adventure. A life in the Holy Spirit is a life wherein the Lord takes complete and total control of our lives, until the point that we realize the Holy Spirit is literally the animating force of our lives, and then in that reality we give everything over to Him and let Him lead us. It'll be scary at times, and we might be burned: the nature of fire is that it burns, but in the very act of burning fire can often bring about great beauty. But even the burning will be part of a beautiful adventure if we're following the great life to which the Spirit calls us.
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 do you believe it means to be burned by the Holy Spirit?
What kind of life is the Lord calling you too?
What are your fears if you allow yourself to be burned? What joys can come from following the Holy Spirit?
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.
"Come Holy Spirit."
"The Holy Spirit is fire."
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?
Today, take five minutes to sit in silence and ask the Holy Spirit to enter into your life.
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 Jason Theobald, Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.