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).
Did your mom really say that if you weren't home by 11 she would ground you forever?
Did you teacher really say that if you copied one little sentence you'd fail for plagiarizing?
Did your dad really say that he'd make you eat the whole pack if he caught you smoking one cigarette?
Does the law really say you'll go to jail for stealing one small thing from the store?
Will you really get pregnant if you sleep with someone this one time?
Will your friend really find out that you went to this amazing party she wasn't invited to and then 'break-up' with you?
Will your boyfriend really mind if you make-out with this other guy?
Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?
One time someone told me that things that start with D are from the Devil, like doubt, despair, degradation (okay she didn't say that last one, but I couldn't think of another D word just now...).
Today's reading reminds me about doubt and excuses. The Devil is making Eve doubt. She made a decision about loving God and all she wants to do is love him. She wasn't even thinking about eating from that tree, she was just admiring it because it had some nice flowers - but then the devil comes over and says "Go ahead, have a bite, it's the tastiest fruit in the whole garden, it's delicious, you'll love it, have a bite, go ahead, it won't kill you."
But it will. It did. While Adam and Eve went on living after eating the fruit from this tree, their free and open relationship with God died. The fruit didn't kill them, but it did kill something in the garden that day.
This is how Satan gets us too. It's just a small seed of doubt about something. It's only a candy bar. It was only a kiss. It was just that one time. It's 15 minutes after curfew. It's one sentence I copied and didn't cite. It's just this one thing.
But it's not just one thing, it's the relationship we have with our parents, our friends, and our God. It's breaking the trust that our relationship is built upon. It's thinking that we can violate the relationship and everything will still remain the same forever.
Yes, there is always forgiveness. I will never doubt God's mercy. There's also justice. Adam and Eve were forgiven. Jesus died on the cross for them too. But their relationship was eternally altered, and in turn ours as well. Eating the fruit wasn't a mistake; it was a deliberate disobedience. Eve was tricked by the devil. He made something evil look good. Remind you of any sins you're regularly committing? I know that I only commit sins that look good in the moment and give me a second of pleasure.
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.
Do you regularly make excuses for your behavior, justifying it as 'just this one time so no big deal'?
Are there any bad habits you need to examine and see if they are actually ways in which the devil is tempting you?
Do you doubt that God can forgive you and you can heal the relationship?
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 love you Lord."
"I need you Lord."
"I want to serve you better 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?
Choose to fast from something that's good but regularly causes you to sin, even in small ways, for the rest of today. This might be snapchat or hanging with particular friends or going to a certain movie or something else.
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.