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).
A few months ago, one of my friends from college reached out to me and asked if we wanted to start writing letters back and forth. With limited opportunities for road trips and visiting friends, I was eager to find new — and even old — ways to keep up with everyone.
As we began writing back and forth, we both fell into a more formal style when beginning our letters, such as “My dear friend.”
So often when I read Scripture, I find the formal approach with the New Testament epistles a bit strange. Paul frequently begins his letters to the Christians in different regions by addressing them as “beloved.” But after picking up letter writing, I noticed the draw in such an approach.
Compared to the informal daily interactions with quick texts back and forth, letters seem to invite us to recognize the deeper humanity of the person to whom we are reaching out. It also helps us recognize our own humanity — to recognize that our thoughts and emotions deserve time to process and space to be shared. For we are not meant for isolation. We are made for communion with others.
In the same way, we need time and space to process our thoughts and emotions, as well as our every day actions and events, with God himself. Not only should we recognize that we are beloved to one another, but God himself calls us beloved, his beloved.
But what does it mean to be beloved?
It means you are chosen. It means you are loved. It is both a description and definition of your identity and a central facet of your relationships. You are a beloved son or daughter to your parents. You are a beloved sister or brother or friend. But even if you strip away the earthly relationships, you are God’s beloved. It is who you are.
This knowledge should fuel everything we do. It should guide our interactions with others — even in quick texts — and help us recognize our own worth. Never forget, dear brothers and sisters, that God made you beloved, that Christ redeemed your belovedness, and that the Holy Spirit is always waiting to reveal this mystery to you.
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 does it mean to me to be beloved?
How does my life and my heart change in knowing that I am beloved by God?
How I do enter into deeper communion with God and others?
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 beloved."
"God, help me recognize my worth."
"Draw me deeper into your heart, Lord."
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?
Write a letter today, whether to God, to a friend, or to your future self, and share with that person what they mean to you and what your hopes are.
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 Ava Lalor, an editor for a Catholic newspaper.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.