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).
Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.
One of the most interesting ice breaker questions is; what is your biggest fear? Spiders, snakes, and heights are all pretty typical responses. There’s another level of fears that many of us experience, but when breaking the ice it’s hard to have enough courage to mention them: the fear of failure, the fear of being alone, the fear of not being chosen, the fear of not being cared for.
These are real fears, and the anxiety that they raise up in our hearts are worth talking about. At some point when things get really heavy, everyone desires to be able to unload with a friend. As Christians, our sharing looks different though, because Jesus exists. He truly really exists in every moment, and no matter what feeling or situation arises we should remember Jesus is a part of it.
Imagine the fear of walking alone through a dark and damp tunnel; you’ve been walking long enough that the entrance has disappeared from your sight and you cannot yet see the light at the end of the tunnel. Will you ever make it? There’s a thousand fears that rush in about the safety of the tunnel, the amount of time it’ll take to walk through, who would come to help if something went wrong?
Every fear we experience can be like that image; but the psalm tells us that the Lord is at our side. Imagine the same scenario, dark damp tunnel with no light on either side but beside you is the person you trust the most, the person who has loved you despite all your weakness. It ceases to be so scary right? Sure, the unknown is still there and you’re still cautious but you can smile knowing that you aren’t stuck alone in the fear.
The Lord stands beside you always, grab His hand when you feel the fear begin to rise up. He is our shepherd, and He leads us to the place that will give us life. He provides for our hunger. He anoints us as chosen. He lavishes us in His love.
What if the green pastures that we long for are on the other side of a scary tunnel? Do you trust the One who stands beside you to lead you? You’ve known Him for quite some time and He has never let you down before. He is never leaving your side, especially when His beloved is afraid. The Lord is faithful, and with His grace, we too will be faithful even when we are afraid.
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 you afraid of? Take these fears to the Lord?
How do you invite the Lord into your fears? Do you trust that He is always there?
Do you trust Jesus? How can you increase your trust?
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.
"Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side."
"Jesus, I trust in you."
"Lord I need 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?
In this difficult time, we will use our Action step each day to join with people around the world in praying for an end to the pandemic of the Coronavirus, for the healing of all those affected, and for the comfort of all those who have lost a loved one. The prayer below is from Archbishop José H. Gomez, President of the USCCB in his reflection and prayer:
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe,
Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas.
We fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son,
as you did at the wedding in Cana.
Pray for us, loving Mother,
and gain for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.
We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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 Fr. Robert Blood, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.
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.