Step #1: Lectio / Read
Brothers and sisters:
The love of God has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
For Christ, while we were still helpless,
died at the appointed time for the ungodly.
Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person,
though perhaps for a good person
one might even find courage to die.
But God proves his love for us
in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.
How much more then, since we are now justified by his blood,
will we be saved through him from the wrath.
Indeed, if, while we were enemies,
we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son,
how much more, once reconciled,
will we be saved by his life.
Not only that,
but we also boast of God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Sometimes I wonder if my worst sins surprise Jesus. Do I ever catch Him off-guard and He's like, "Woah, I did not see that coming!" Yeah, sure, Jesus died for me, but maybe He didn't realize how much I'd disappoint Him someday. Maybe at some point He'll regret His decision to die for me and withdraw His love. How much patience could He have with me if I keep messing up again and again and again and again and again and again... Does God still love me? Today is the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, and I think today's reading reminds us of the truth of God's love for us.
Let's get heady for a moment.
God is infinite and eternal. He had no beginning and will have no end. He is outside the bounds of time and space. All of time is like one moment to Him. So unlike our own decisions, any decision that God makes is an eternal and therefore permanent one.
Let's take Jesus' decision to die on the cross. "God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us." In other words, He looked at the sinful state of humanity and made a decision: mercy. This decision of mercy is an eternal and permanent one. So if you ever wonder if God still loves you, if He still wants to show you mercy, if He's getting tired of forgiving you... just look to the cross and see the love and mercy pouring from His Sacred Heart. This is our Lord's eternal and permanent answer to our sins. As today's reading says, it's God's "proof" of His love for us. No matter how far gone we are, His answer will always be, "Yes, I forgive you and I love you. Come back to me."
Does God still love you? Look to the cross and see for yourself.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
"God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us."
Do you fear that God's love and mercy will run out for you one day? Talk to Jesus about this and seek the roots of your fears.
What sins and bad habits weigh most heavily on your heart right now? Ask the Holy Spirit for courage to acknowledge your sins before Him.
Close your eyes and picture Jesus hanging on the cross. Imagine you're kneeling at His feet, looking into His eyes. Stay there for a while. What are His eyes speaking to you right now?
Ask Jesus to impress on you the depth of His love for you in this very moment. Bask in the love of His most Sacred Heart.
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
"Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in You."
"Jesus, show me the depth of Your love."
"O, my Jesus, have mercy on me."
For the Rest of Your Day...
Spend just a couple minutes today prayerfully looking at a crucifix, while asking for the grace of knowing His love and mercy more fully.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Dan Wolff.