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).
When I was in about 7th or 8th grade, I had a family member pass away. I did not know him particularly well and at the time of his funeral remember not really feeling any sort of emotion, but as I looked at my few family members, namely my mom, who did know him well, I remember in a very cognizant way feeling real empathy for the first time in my life. As I looked around the room, I was moved to compassion for these people in such sorrow, and I remember tearing up myself and grabbing my mom’s hand in order to try and offer her some comfort.
Empathy has a powerful way of being able to connect two people who are otherwise on seemingly opposite playing fields. When you feel genuine empathy towards another, there is nothing that separates you, no class, background, race, gender, socio-economic status. All that remains is a desire to be present within that individual’s reality and to listen to what they have to say, to listen to their suffering and hear their cry.
Do we view our Lord in this same light?
Today’s psalm reminds us that “the Lord hears the cry of the poor” and sadly these are words I fear we have heard so often that they might be cheated of their intense significance. That the Lord hears the cry of the poor demonstrates that we have a God who is truly empathetic, who listens to His beloved creatures and rests with them in their sufferings. He hears the cry of us poor sinners. He hears our cry when mom and dad are separating, when we are made fun of by people we thought we could trust, when we can’t seem to stop falling into that sin, when it seems like there is no way that we could be loved by anyone or anything. The Lord hears the cry of the poor. He reaches down low and rests with you. He saves us from our distress and lifts us up again.
Today, know that the Lord hears your cry. Whatever it is that is weighing you down, whatever is keeping you from Him, whatever is dark, whatever seems insurmountable, lay it before the Lord, let Him hear your cry, and know that He is with you at all times, always ready to love and comfort you.
The Lord hears the cry of the poor. He hears your cry. Let your soul glory in the Lord. AMDG.
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 struggles are currently weighing you down? What are the heart ships that you are facing that are causing you pain?
Do you ever struggle to view God as empathetic? How does today's Psalm affect your relationship with God?
Have you let God come rest with you in your struggles? How will you cry out to the Lord today?
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.
"Lord, hear my cry."
"I give you my heart."
"I trust 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?
Today, take some time and offer whatever is weighing you down to God. Journal about it if that helps you keep your thought straight. However you pray, offer the struggles of your heart to God and allow yourself to rest with Him in your pain. Open your heart to His love.
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 Matthew Maxwell, a graduate of Franciscan University currently working as a Youth Minister in St. Louis.
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