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).
What is the most beautiful Church you have ever been into for Mass, prayer, or even a walk through? For me, it is St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Whatever Church you are thinking of, bring that sacred space to your mind’s eye and let yourself be struck by the words from today’s Psalmist: “How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God.” The first reading, and today’s Psalm, reflect on the glory, beauty, and wonder of God’s Holy Temple for the Israelite people, and more importantly, that God himself would choose to come to that space and make his dwelling there. This is the same reality for us today in our Churches: the red light of presence next to the tabernacle reminds us that God continues to come and dwell with us. Thus, we find ourselves, like Solomon, like the Psalmist, proclaiming in awe that our God is with us, in the sacred spaces where we worship.
St. Paul, however, pushes this image of God’s temple a bit further, when he highlights that our very person – body and soul – are the new temples of God’s dwelling. God comes to dwell not just in our Churches, but through the Sacraments – and the Eucharist most particularly – God comes to dwell within us! What an awesome invitation in our Christian life, that we actually are temples of the Holy Spirit and dwelling places of God. St. Theresa of Avila makes this a central piece of her spiritual writing, that God finds no greater and more awesome dwelling on earth than our soul. In other words, that Church you were imagining earlier, pales in comparison – in the eyes of God – to the dwelling place of your soul and body! Do you and I really believe that? Do we find it hard to image that God finds us a pleasing place to dwell? Let your mind be struck by God’s desire to come and dwell within you! Perhaps this reality is a bit harder, or more challenging, to accept, enter into, and relish, and yet it is true! We may not feel, and certainly are not, worthy of this gift of God, yet how amazing is our God that this is true.
As you return to the Psalmists words, imagine God saying them about you, saying them to you! Let today’s prayer open up your heart to wonder and awe at the God who comes to dwell with us, and within us!
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.
How do I view myself as a dwelling place more worthy than the beautiful churches of the world?
What things are keeping me from seeing myself as worthy of being God's privileged dwelling place?
In what ways does my reception of the Eucharist help me experience the awesome fact that God desires to come and dwell in me? How can I grow in appreciating this truth?
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 am your temple, Lord."
"I am worthy."
"Make your dwelling in my heart."
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?
If possible, find time to go sit in Eucharistic adoration today (or this week) and spend time in prayer. Let the truth that God desires to dwell in your heart even more than he desires to dwell in the monstrance or tabernacle at your church. Invite God to dwell in you!
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Today’s prayer was prepared by Jon Polce, SJ.
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