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 don’t know about you, but reading the first reading today just makes me realize how awesome David really was. This reading basically recounts the reasons that David was so beloved by God and Israel by listing some of the great things he accomplished in his life. David, who we all know as the greatest king of Israel, the great ancestor of Jesus Christ, was quite the man: making sport of lions like they were nothing, defeating the skilled warrior, Goliath, destroying the great enemy of Israel, the Philistines, even women sang his praises…tens of thousands of them! However, even after listing all of these great things and showing how accomplished of a king and leader David was, both in strength and knowledge, the greatest aspect of who he was is centered on the Lord.
David did so many things to advance the kingdom of Israel, but the scriptures today focus on how everything David did was done with an offering of praise to God. Whether it was the strength of his arm, his military prowess, or even his leadership of Israel, every accomplishment David had was done as an act of praise and love for God. How often do we see great leaders in our world today mirroring this? When was the last time the greatest of our leaders stopped what they were doing to offer authentic praise to God? When was the ego set aside and the humble recognition of God being the true King promoted with the famous and notorious in today’s society? Granted, there are great men and women in the world who do things for the greater praise and glory of God, but they aren’t held in the same esteem that David was in Israel. Perhaps it’s the symptom of a post-Christian culture or because the Christian leaders of today aren’t as popular in news or media, or perhaps it’s because offering all of our actions as praise to God is something that we have lost and need to reclaim.
Each of us has the opportunity to offer praise to God in simple and small ways. Doing your homework, check. Cleaning the dishes, check. Working out for your sport, check. Posting on social media, check. Spending time with your friends, check. Everything we do can be an act of praise! The Catechism talks about praise as the type of prayer that “lauds God for his own sake and gives him glory, simply because HE IS” (CCC 2639). It isn’t something that can only happen at Mass or youth group, it doesn’t require a guitar and a Chris Tomlin song—praise is simply recognizing God in whatever we are doing and turning our minds and hearts toward him because he just IS. Every act can be praise when we offer it to God with even the simplest of interior prayers.
Imagine what would happen to our world if each of us simply started doing everything, the big and the small acts of our daily lives, as an act of praise to God. We would start to see God in everything, even the things we wouldn’t expect, and God would be manifest throughout our culture and our world in a new way. Be like David and let every act of your life be an offering to the praise and glory of God, and the world will be transformed more and more to the Kingdom of God.
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.
Do you take time to praise the Lord every day? Or do you wait until a praise and worship song comes on?
What can you do to offer glory to God in everything you do?
Do you lean toward the negative before the positive? Do you lean toward asking before praising?
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.
"Praise you Jesus."
"King of Kings."
"Lord of Lords."
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 time to write down all of the praises you can bring to the Lord today. Be intentional with how you give glory!
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Today's prayer was prepared by Adam Smyth, the Life Teen Coordinator at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in the Woodlands, TX.
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