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).
As I read today’s first reading, I couldn’t help but think about what’s going on in the Catholic Church right now. “It is widely reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of a kind not found even among pagans–” ... Um, yeah there is. If you’ve been paying attention to any of the news about victims, priests, bishops, cardinals, and even the pope, you know that private sins are becoming public knowledge.
Big things need to be worked on in the Church now. Victims are in search of healing and justice. The faithful are confused about who to trust and what to do.
It’s not just priests, bishops, cardinals, and popes though. It’s also me, it’s you. In the midst of great suffering and brokenness in the Church, you and I are called to be saints, to be men and women of heroic virtue. We have sins that are might be feel private, but could be made public. Lips that gossip, hearts that judge, minds that are concerned with what others have that we don’t.
At the conclusion of this reading, Paul talks about yeast. If you’ve ever made bread or pizza dough you know that the dough starts small and gets bigger and bigger the longer it sits. We react the same with good leveners and bad leveners. I know that if I’m around a friend who complains a lot, I can find all of the things wrong with my body, my life, and the world. If I’m around someone who is happy, I find myself happier, looking at the good. We get easily infected by what’s around us.
It reminds me of the Martin family: Louis, Zélie, Marie, Pauline, Léonie, Céline, and Thérèse. Most of us are just familiar with Thérèse and her little way. But saints aren’t created in a vacuum. They are surrounded by heroic virtue. Thérèse had very holy parents who guided and directed her in her faith. The sisters all joined the convent with a desire to serve the Lord. (A great book on this family is The Extraordinary Parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Louis & Zélie have an amazing love story, btw!)
I’m also thinking of Sts. Benedict & Scholastica: twins who both started religious orders. Then there’s St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Dominic who were friends and great teachers in the Church (St. Thomas’ Summa and the Dominican Order of Preachers). St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Francis Xavier were friends who began the Jesuits. Sts Anne & Joachim were married and were Mary’s parents! The saints come in groups (pairs, three, four, five, etc.).
Holiness, like happiness and misery, is infectious. We become holier by being around people who are striving for holiness. Also these “times we spend with holy people” don’t have to be at Church, praying the rosary together, or going to Adoration. They certainly can be, but more importantly doing the ordinary things of life with holy people. Do fun things with people striving for holiness to infect your entire life with holiness. Surround yourself with friends striving for holiness on Friday and Saturday night when you go bowling or play games or go to your school’s football game (or some other much more fun activity).
Saints aren’t boring people, they are people who have fun, play sports, read books, watch movies, play games, go to the mall, play video games, and (bold) love Jesus and want to serve Him! Their faith is part of their entire life. Sometimes they stumble (that’s why we have Confession), but their friends help them back up! It’s time for our entire world to get infected with holiness and that starts with 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.
Who are some of the people that positively influence the way you act? Who are some of the people who impact you negatively?
Who is a friend you can ask to keep you accountable as you try for sainthood?
How can you live like a saint today?
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 want to be a saint."
"Make me holy Lord."
"Here I am 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?
During the month of September, we ask that each day, for the Action step of our lectio divina, everyone prays a Divine Mercy Chaplet together for the healing of all victims of clerical abuse of any kind as well as for the healing and guidance of our Church.
For more information on why we are doing this action step and a simple lock screen or how to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, click here.
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 Herzing, a former youth minister turned parish evanglization consultant living in North Carolina.
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.