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).
Do you ever find yourself marveling at the beauty of nature so much that you feel yourself sighing peacefully deep within you? It almost seems easy to pray in those moments because the love and beauty of God is immensely evident right in front of you. Those sights we marvel at, though, are just from what God created at the beginning. Each new creation became more intricate, more beautiful than the last, so what happened after God made the land, sea and all the creatures? In God’s own image and likeness came the most beautiful of all creation!
We are all made in God's own image. When men live out their masculinity and women their femininity to the fullest, regardless of their vocation, isn’t that the greatest of beauty that God has created?
God knew what he was creating when He made man and woman, how perfectly they complement each other. If we feel called to marriage, we are feeling called to be united to a complementary piece of God’s glorious puzzle (whereas one called to the priesthood or religious life might feel called as a piece to the line of Melchizedek or a certain religious order!) It is from God, for God, and because of God that we can be united in this way… not because of our own interests and desires.
Try to think of marriage as God intended it to be… without sin entering the picture. Let the thought of that marvelously soul-piercing beauty shape your perception of marriage. Those complementary pieces were made to stay together and fulfill their vocation, not to break apart or dirty the beauty of that sacrament with sin.
Even to the disciples, this was seen as a difficult teaching, “If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry”, which sounds to me like, “If there is no good way to get out of a marriage, getting married isn’t worth it”. This is difficult in our culture today too, as so many people go into marriage with the conception that if it gets too hard or boring, they can always divorce.
Regardless of where you are at in your vocation or vocational discernment, it is good to reflect on the beauty of God’s loveliest creation- you! Are you living or preparing for your vocation with the fullness of your heart? Or has the hardness of your heart pushed aside the beauty that God made you for?
Many of Jesus’ teachings seem hard or unpleasant to us, especially in our culture. If this particular teaching is difficult for you, bring that to Jesus in prayer! Ask for Mary’s help too! If this teaching does not seem difficult for you, bring that to Jesus in prayer too! Even with how beautiful humans and marriage are, Jesus never promised it would be easy. May we never stop growing in love and understanding!
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.
You are made in God's image. What does that mean to you? How should you treat yourself because of this fact?
What does creation show us about our Creator?
Who in your life is an example of a holy marriage? What do you believe makes their marriage different from our culture?
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 am made in His image."
"I am made for greatness."
"I am called to more."
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, reflect on those around you who are living out the sacrament of marriage. Pray for them as they live their vocation, and pray for Jesus to guide you in your vocation.
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 Katie LoBosco, a student at the University of Dayton studying Music Therapy.