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).
How often do you feel overwhelmed by, uneasy about , or scared of what’s going on in your life? There’s tons of things that stress me out in my life and it definitely affects my relationship with Jesus. In today's Psalm we see that Jesus wants to lead us by still waters and refresh or restore our souls. Jesus wants to bring us His peace even in the times where we are most afraid.
It is so easy to let fear, worry, or stress consume all our thoughts. Whatever the difficult situation is, whether it’s a problem with a family member, school work, or a fight with a friend, it can become the center of our thoughts and take over the whole day. We let stress and anxiety come before the joy and happiness that God wants our day to be filled with. When this happens, we miss out on good times with friends and family and peace in our souls.
What is peace in our souls? I always think of peace as sitting on the couch with a good movie with nothing to do, just relaxing. But Jesus is showing us that peace is something different than this in Psalm 23. Even though we “walk in the shadow of death,” or even though we live on earth and have to deal with all kinds of struggles and turmoil, we don’t have to be afraid of anything because Jesus is with us. Whether we feel Him with us or not, Jesus is always walking with us, even carrying us, through our struggles. So even though what we are doing or going through is difficult, we do not have to worry because Christ is with us. When we invite Jesus into our lives and into our hearts, He truly comes and, if we let Him, brings us peace and joy. He leads us by still waters and away from our stormy seas. We can trust that the Lord is our shepherd who comes to us and leads us to the Father to give us His love and mercy.
We can see through the lives of the saints and all the faithful who have come before us that this is true. Today is the Commemoration of All Souls. They let Jesus, the Good Shepherd, lead them to the Father. Because they trusted Jesus, they “dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come.” The more you open your heart to God, the more He fills you with good things so that your “cup overflows,” you are totally filled with joy, peace, and love that comes from God.
Let the Good Shepherd lead you through your stressful times. Do not let them distract you from true peace, love, and joy, but offer them up to Jesus in your prayers. Let yourself be brought to still waters so that you may courageously overcome fear and anxiety. Jesus wants to love you and have a relationship with you. Let Him love you today so that only goodness and kindness may follow you, all the days of your life.
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 is troubling your heart right now? Where are you looking for peace in your life?
Where do you find peace and joy amidst the troubles and stress of life?
How much have you been praying lately? How does more time spent in prayer change your outlook on life?
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.
"The Lord is my shepherd."
"You refresh my soul."
"You are with me."
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?
Invite the Lord into the stressful situations of your life today that are keeping you from having peace. Even if you are incredibly busy today, make time for prayer and allow the Lord to love you in that moment and refresh your soul.
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 Mary Griffin, a Senior Theology and Catechetics major at Franciscan University of Steubenville.