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).
While none of us are physically being held captive, I think a lot of us are allowing our hearts to be held captive by sin and shame. We allow evil to cling to us so closely that it can sometimes seem to become a natural part of us, and when we do so, we become deaf to the voice of the Lord who wants to speak truth into our hearts. Like the exiles during the Babylonian captivity, we sometimes need to swallow our pride and be brutally honest with ourselves about the ways we have disobeyed God and given into temptation.
The way I see it, we can either give in and allow sin to take a hold on our hearts, or we can continue to fight against sin and continually turn to the light and love of Christ. Turning to the light is sometimes harder and more painful, like when you first turn the light on in the morning and it nearly blinds you. But just as with time, our eyes adjust to the light, so too will our hearts adjust to the light of Christ and continue to find it more and more attractive than the darkness.
The Lord invites us to leave behind the shackles of our sin and run into the freedom of His love. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we expose the evil and sin in our lives and heart to the light of Christ, which conquers all darkness. We bring to light everything we have been hiding in the dark for so long. We were not made for the darkness; we were made for the light.
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 of the sins and shame you cling to instead of entirely to Christ?
Why do you think it is sometimes easier to stay in the darkness of our sin and shame? How can you overcome that temptation and complacency?
How can you adjust the "eyes of your heart" to the light of Christ?
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.
"Light the way, Lord."
"Sanctify my heart."
"Jesus, I trust in You,"
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?
Go to confession. And go often. Don't give sin or shame any chance to cling to your heart. Let go of all the excuse and go to confession at the next available time, likely Saturday morning or afternoon, or even call up your church and set up an appointment.
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 Maggie Overbeck, Assistant Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.