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).
"However, take care and be earnestly on your guard
not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen,
nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live,
but teach them to your children and to your children's children."
Consolation and desolation. The spiritual highs and lows. The times we feel God when we pray to Him and the times we feel like He's just not there. This is the constant battle of prayer. And I think a lot of times prayer feels like a desert for us.
I have a memory that's been etched into my mind. It's my dad. Sitting quietly in a room every morning with his Bible opened in his lap. It was a thick Bible with a brown leather cover on it. He would sit in the same blue fuzzy armchair every morning reading it. Sometimes I'd see him with his eyes closed, meditating on a particular passage. He did this day in and day out, over and over and over again, for years and years.
Those mornings, I never really saw him in a state of spiritual ecstasy. I never caught him levitating or glowing. But he was always there, every morning. Without even saying a word, he taught me that prayer is not about how I feel. It's about loving the Lord and committing to a personal relationship with Him. That means showing up to prayer day in and day out, over and over and over again, all the years of my life. Whether I feel His presence that day or not. Today's passage brought back that memory of my dad and that crucial lesson that he taught me.
Our heavenly Father often lets us feel His presence. He gives us consolations and moments where we experience His love tangibly. In those moments it's easy to have faith and to remain in prayer.
But in order to draw us deeper, to strengthen and purify our love, our Lord lovingly withdraws those consolations from time to time. Those are the times it's hard to have faith and to pray. But it's then, in our desolations, we must "be earnestly on our guard" not to forget the things which our hearts have experienced with the Lord. We must not let our consolations "slip from our memory." When we don't feel God and our faith wavers, we should recall the times we've felt His presence, and draw strength and faith from those memories.
Does your prayer life feel like a desert? During this blessed season of Lent, embrace the desert of prayer. Persevere through your desolation by recalling the consolations, the times when you've felt the Lord close to you. In that way, your prayer life and your relationship with our Lord will mature and deepen. It won't be based on emotions, but on commitment and love.
Let's meet the Lord in the desert of prayer and learn to love Him 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 are some times in your life that you have felt the presence and consolation of the Lord? What are some times you were in desolation or could not feel Him in your life?
How can you live your life better now, so that you do not slip up and fall away when times get tough?
What are some daily routines that you do well or want to add so you can grow closer to God, whether you feel Him that day or not?
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.
"Come Holy Spirit."
"Here's my heart Lord."
"Help me to know 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?
Add a realistic, but meaningful, prayer routine to your life. Find something that you can commit to and do it. Make it something that can help you grow deeper in times of consolation, and can keep you going during times of desolation.
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 Dan Wolff, High School Youth Minister at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.