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).
How many of you sit down and read the instruction manual when you get some new device or appliance? To this day, my grandpa reads the entire thing front to book. I might flip through a few pages before deciding to figure it out on my own. My way works fine, but my grandpa knows the ins and outs his new toys before he even uses them, is able to unlock all their functionality, and can instruct others in how they operate.
In today’s first reading, Paul tells the Corinthians that God does the same thing with the gifts He gives us. His Holy Spirit is the ultimate instruction guide to unlock the abilities and charisms He has blessed us with. The Holy Spirit shows and reveals to us what, and how great, are the gifts given to us, as apostles, by God, and to others who love God. Entire books can be written into how we work with the Spirit to discover the gifts God has given us and how we are to use them to build up the Kingdom on our way to heaven. Allow me to offer two suggestions to start.
The first is to take a page out of Paul’s playbook – discuss and learn about your gifts from others; his two letters to the Corinthians are doing just that. The Spirit worked through Paul to show the new Christians how to use all the tools they had received through baptism. Ask a trusted friend about the gifts he or she sees in you and how those could be used. You could also find a saint that has similar gifts and read about how they used the gifts. We can be assured they used the Spirit to access what God provided them.
The second will require some silent prayer. Start by asking the Holy Spirit to guide your meditation. Then, imagine what it would be like to use some particular gift in service of the Church. Actually picture yourself applying your talents and skills fully, trusting that by doing this in prayer, you are letting yourself be led by the Spirit. It’s amazing what can be realized by our God-given power of imagination.
God has given us so many gifts and treasures, and He desires that we work with Him to make full use of them. Like the manuals my grandpa reads, we have a way to know how to best apply what has been given to us. Make full utilization of this treasure by availing yourself to the Spirit found in prayer and the lives of others.
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 the gifts that God has given me to help build up his Kingdom, and to build up my relationship with Him?
When have I experienced God stirring up my heart to be bold in using one (or many) of my gifts? How did I respond?
What is the biggest obstacle to using the gifts God has given me? Is it fear? Not knowing what those gifts are? A lack of trust that it will work out?
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.
"Come, Holy Spirit."
"Help me use the gifts you've given me."
"Jesus, I trust in 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?
Take the time to do a spiritual gift inventory. You may be able to find a helpful guide online, but if you want to do it on your own, simply ask God to reveal what some of the gifts he's given to you are. Like mentioned in the meditation: ask friends to help you identify your gifts and spend time in silent prayer. If you think God has given you a particular gift or charism, begin trying to use that gift.
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 Kevin Gregus, a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Chicago.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.