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).
Recently, I was hanging out with a friend of mine who just got married. It broke my heart to see the reactions of strangers when he would tell them that he just got married a few weeks ago. These men who had been married for decades would say, “sorry to hear that” or other incredibly negative comments about married life. They were mostly joking, but why is that society’s go to response to such an amazing sacrament? People act like marriage is a death sentence or a prison. Marriage is the single most beautiful relationship we can have with another human being. Marriage is a place where love is so present it brings forth new life. It is where we can love most like God.
If marriage is this beautiful relationship, why do we hate on it so often? The reason is plain and simple, “charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30). Marriage is a lifelong gift of yourself to your spouse and whatever life comes from that love. That is what is it meant to be. However, now we look for the hottest person to marry, or the one with the most money or power or whatever. We are so caught up in the instantaneous and superficial that we can barely even comprehend a lifelong gift of self - let alone live it out.
If you want to be happy, learn how to love. Learn how to love in a way that is a lifelong gift of yourself, holding nothing back. Be a witness to the world that there is something greater. Stop chasing the superficial “loves” of this world and find the true love that will change it all. Begin to pray for your future spouse today. Whether you know them yet or not, why not start loving them today? Don’t be like our society that sees love and marriage as a trap. Look at it for what it is; a gift, an opportunity to truly love someone with everything you have, a relationship to be filled with endless joy.
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 do you value in a person? Do you value virtue or that which is superficial?
Do you see marriage as the most beautiful relationship possible? What has changed your view of marriage? How can God heal your perspective or experience with this sacrament?
How can you prepare yourself to give the gift of yourself in whatever vocation God has planned for you?
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.
"Teach me to love."
"I love You."
"I give myself to 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?
Say a prayer for you future spouse today. Whether you're called to marriage, the priesthood, or religious life, pray that the Lord would prepare your heart to be a pure gift of unselfish love.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Sean Norris, Youth Minister at Our Lady of the Wayside Parish in Arlington Heights, IL.