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).
I have this friend from college who shared with me an odd fear one time: the bathroom. Naturally, being the kind and sensitive guy that I am, I laughed in her face. The bathroom? Really??? Apparently when she's home alone, she's scared to go into the bathroom. Why you ask? It's not fear of the toilet, worried she'll be sucked down. It's not fear of the sink or the towels or the soap. It's the shower. When she walks into the bathroom -- particularly when she's home alone and it's nighttime -- she's terrified that there's someone hiding in the shower ready to "get" her. She knows in her head she's fine, but she's just super scared anyway. So every time she walks into the bathroom when she's home alone, she checks the shower first. Then she can finally go to the bathroom in peace.
"Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into."
This verse in today's Gospel really struck me, and it made me think of the way we deal with temptation and sin. How often do we fear the bathroom, but never check the shower? (I hope I don't cause any nightmares because of this post!) Or in other words, how often do we struggle with temptation and sin, but we don't check our hearts? We don't fortify them with prayer? We don't fill them with the protective and sustaining graces of the sacraments?
The devil is a thief. He seeks to break into our hearts to steal the grace the Lord Himself has placed there. Don't let him! He has no right to be there! Don't let him in! Stay away from temptation. Avoid it. We think we'll be fine in the midst of temptation, that we'll be strong enough to resist, but the devil doesn't make us fall by force. He tricks us. He deceives us. This is why Jesus tells us in the Gospel today to "stay awake" and "be prepared!" Recommit to daily prayer with our Lord, go to confession regularly, go to Mass every Sunday and any weekday Masses if you can. Fill your heart with Him. Because "at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come" and He will ask you if you've protected your heart from the sin that destroys it.
We don't know the exact hour when the devil is going to tempt us next. So stay awake and guard your heart! Only the Lord Himself belongs there. Anyone else is a thief.
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 are you fortifying your heart and soul? Are you praying and receiving the sacraments?
What are some temptations you face? What are you doing to actively avoid them?
What place does the Lord have in your heart?
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.
"Fortify my heart, Lord."
"Lead me not into temptation."
"Stay awake. Be prepared."
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?
Fortify your heart and recommit yourself to daily prayer. It may not be easy at first, but try it for the next week and see what an impact it can have on your life.
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 Dan Wolff, High School Youth Minister at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.