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).
I’m the biggest Billy Joel fan I know, but there’s something he got wrong. “I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the Saints.” Sorry, Billy. You’re a little off on that one. Sometimes people think being Christian is gloomy, boring, morose, and limits human freedom. Whereas, sowing wild oats, doing whatever you want, limitless freedom is where the real adventure in life is to be found.
But, I got news for ya. If you wanna meet the most depressing, cookie cutter, boring people you’ll ever encounter, look for folks who are addicted to serious sin, living for themselves, people who are turned inward following their own will, their own desires, their own plans. They are slaves to themselves. Bound by their pleasure. Shackled by their sin. You hear the stories all the time…I had the greatest job, the biggest house, the biggest bank account, went to the best parties…yet I wasn’t happy. There was a hole in my heart.
Saints on the other hand are like snowflakes. There are so many different kinds of Saints. Thomas Aquinas, Catherine of Siena, John the Evangelist, Augustine, Jerome, Giorgio Frassati, Maria Goretti, John Paul II, Miguel Augustin Pro, John Henry Newman, Mother Teresa, Padre Pio, Dominic, Ignatius, Francis, Benedict, Robert Bellarmine. The Saints were so different, yet so joyful. When you meet somebody completely consumed by trying to do the will of God (even though failing sometimes) you meet somebody who is filled to the brim with joy. You meet someone who is truly free. That’s what we see in today’s Gospel. When Zechariah does the will of God. When he proclaims “John is his name”, he’s freed. He’s given freedom. Today, let’s do God’s will and be free. Be filled. Be a saint.
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.
Sin looks attractive, in what ways does it hurt us?
What are you doing today to live for heaven?
How does living for God make you free
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.
"Saint of God, pray for us."
"Be free. Be filled."
"Fill me with joy."
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?
In the list of the saints above, which one do you not know? Look them up and pray with their life and how they let God fill them.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Fr. Jon Bakkelund, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.
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