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).
The final stanza of today’s psalm could be summed up by saying “Why are you a hypocrite?” If you’ve been Catholic for more than a minute, I’m sure you’ve heard someone say “everyone in the church is a hypocrite, I can’t join them.” What’s a hypocrite? Someone who says one thing, but does another. [That’s the basic, not Webster, definition in my mind.]
Do I say one thing and do another? Do I say I’m a Christian who loves others, wills the good of another, and wants to get to Heaven? Do I sin on a regular basis? Yes. Yes. And unfortunately Yes.
Does that mean I’m not a ‘good enough Christian’? That there’s no hope for my salvation? That I’m not worthy of being at Mass? No. No. And definitely No.
Just like St. Paul wrote in Romans 7:15, “What I do, I do not understand. For I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate.” He ends this section with “I am a slave to sin.” I am not embracing the freedom that Christ died on the Cross to give to me. I’m embracing my will, my desires, and my slavery. I can’t say YES to God because I don’t want to say NO to the world.
I’m reminded of freedom because today is the day we celebrate our country’s freedom. Just a few weeks ago I visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island for the first time. Two small islands outside of New York City that represent Freedom. Thousands of people came to our country throwing off the slavery of their government for the freedom of the United States. Seeing Lady Liberty gave them the courage to start a new life in a land where they were free to do good, to love, and to live.
As Christians the symbol of our freedom is Christ on the Cross. When we’ve forgotten our way, become slaves to sin, and said yes to the world, we just need to turn back to Christ on the Cross and find forgiveness in the freedom He offers. It’s free for the asking, we just need to ask.
No matter how many times we run back to Him, the Lord never tires of forgiving. As Pope Francis says, “The Lord never tires of forgiving: never! It is we who tire of asking his forgiveness. Let us ask for the grace not to tire of asking forgiveness, because he never tires of forgiving.” This whole quote is quite beautiful and would make a great meditation for prayer: https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/francis-chronicles/popes-quotes-ask-forgiveness
The Lord never tires of giving us our freedom back. He never tires of helping us drop the chains of slavery to sin. He never tires of loving us and helping us to love others. He never tires of 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 has the Lord granted you true freedom?
What do need to ask for the Lord for freedom and forgiveness from?
How can you embrace the cross, which leads to our freedom, 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.
"You delight in showing mercy."
"You never tire of forgiving."
"Free me from the sins that bind me."
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?
Read the full quote from Pope Francis (linked to in the meditation), and take some time to reflect on the idea of true freedom and how the Lord bring about freedom from sin through forgiveness. Run to the Lord for freedom from any chains that bind you today.
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 Katie Herzing, a former youth minister turned parish evanglization consultant living in North Carolina.
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