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).
"Consider what He has done for you." It is very easy to get caught up in our frantic amount of wants and needs in this life. In a culture where consumerism and capitalism rule, we are programmed from a young age to want more, always more. We are programmed to compare ourselves and our lives to the lives of those around us and see all the things that other have and we lack.
Often times, this mentality bleeds over into our spiritual life as well. We often only pray or come to God when we want something. Yet if this is the foundation of our relationship with Him, it is bound for failure. We are sure to end up frustrated and discouraged in our prayer life.
Yet today we receive this invitation from Tobit in our responsorial psalm: "Consider what He has done for you." A practice recommended to me by a wise man many years ago was to spend 5 minutes every day in silent gratitude. This is how I begin my prayer time every day. I stop and consider what He has done for me, because there is much to consider. It helps me to ground myself in reality every morning, to put things into proper perspective when it is all too easy for me to lose perspective in the craziness of life.
I always spend the first two of those five minutes in sheer gratitude for my very existence. Before I thank God for anything that He has done for me, I spend time thanking Him for the fact that there is a "me" at all. Because the reality is, there didn't have to ever be a "me", but there is. This is a very sobering fact to face every day. I do not have to exist. But I do. Therefore, there must be a reason I exist and my existence must be good. Then I proceed to thank God for particular blessings in my life right now and all that He is doing for me. It helps me to become more aware of how active He is in my life and thus open to His movements and His voice throughout the day. Plus, it helps bring me out of whatever funks I find myself in throughout various seasons of life. When I stop and consider all I have to be thankful for, it makes it harder to dwell on all that is not as I would like it to be in life.
So, stop and consider what He has done for you. If nothing else, you exist, so you can always start there.
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 has the Lord done for you?
Do you give the Lord gratitude for all things including your very existence?
What blessings has God given you in your life? How can you thank Him?
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.
"God made my existence."
"Consider what He has done."
"Thank you 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?
Make a list of all the blessings God has given you and thank Him for them today.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Austin Ashcraft, a graduate student in New Orleans.
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