Step #1: Lectio / Read
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 used to work in downtown Chicago, and normally when I was walking between my office and the Metra station, I’d simply walk alongside everyone else, not thinking of much beyond getting to my destination as quickly as I could. But, occasionally, the idea would strike me to focus as much of my concentration as I could on the noise and chaos I heard around me. I would try to make out everything I could using only my sense of hearing. The goal was to separate every little sound near or far, and identify what each of them was. I always found myself impressed with how much there was to hear when I actually listened. Beyond the screeching of the elevated trains, the horns of impatient drivers, and the thousands of feet stamping their way along the sidewalks, I’d make out the sound of a bird in a tree, a pair of friends laughing across the street, or a faraway saxophonist playing The Flintstones theme song just slightly out of tune. Most of these things I’d normally never even notice as I walked along quickly and absentmindedly with my thoughts locked on distant concerns. Who knows how many simple but remarkable things I missed over the years when I wasn’t playing my little listening game.
If I was being honest, I’d have to admit that I spend too much of my spiritual life like I used to do on those commutes to and from the city. But, sometimes, when I remember, just like I did sometimes while I walked, I’ll make a real effort to focus and listen for God’s voice among the discord and craziness of the thousands of distractions that constantly surround me. And just like I would find with the sounds of the city, I’ll find that I’m impressed with the things I actually pick up on when I’m paying attention. Small things like a kind word from a friend, a smile from a stranger in an elevator, a laugh as I joke with the cashier at my office cafeteria, a new and different realization gleaned from a reading at Mass that I’ve heard hundreds of times before, but suddenly and perfectly suits a situation I might be grappling with at the time. He puts so many beautiful things around me all the time. It’s a shame and a loss to me when I overlook them through my own neglect.
The overarching message of each of today’s readings is to listen. We all benefit from taking a breather once in awhile to just listen for God. He’s always talking to us. Often times in ways we don’t normally expect. Let’s all find the time to step outside of our normal routines and concentrate on filtering out, and hearing the many ways in which God talks to us. Let’s try not to miss out on them.
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 ways you can stop and listen to what God may be saying to you?
What are some of the distractions that get in the way of you hearing God's voice?
What are some of the things you do to tune God out? How can you work to break down those barriers you built?
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.
"Here I am Lord."
"Come Holy Spirit."
"Help me hear You Lord.
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?
Stop and listen. Listen to the things the Lord is trying to say to you instead of being consumed with the "busy" excuses we use everyday.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Jim Lundgren.