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).
Persecuted but not abandoned. We’ve all had those days where we feel totally broken down. Everything is going wrong. We are bombarded with lies. Hope of any semblance of rest has gone down the tubes. But have we been broken?
Paul speaks to that difficulty today; is all lost? With Jesus, all is never lost. We might be afflicted, perplexed, and struck down but with the Lord we are given a special grace of bouncing back. In any given day there are countless opportunities to spiral into frustration or take the time to recognize the life of Jesus present in that given moment.
My eyes seem to rest on the burden though, how do I begin again? It’s easier said than done; ‘stop looking at the pain and notice Jesus.’ That’s a hard shift, but I think a powerful first step is one of gratitude. You’ve been afflicted, perplexed, and struck down in the past—what followed? The Hand of God lifting you up in simple ways through your loved ones, or even in huge unexpected ways by guiding the chips to fall exactly where they were needed.
Sometimes we can be blinded to those sweet moments, and so let’s begin the gratitude right here and right now. In this very moment, your feet are placed on the ground. God created the world in love, and is loving you into existence. Pause your reading for a second; the Lord graces you with silence so that all the busyness that weighs you down can be set aside for a moment of connection with Him. You have been blessed with an incredible capacity to learn, and Jesus the Good Teacher is providing in this reflection time the space to receive His truth from your mind to your heart. In entering into these readings, you are also joining a community of countless others entering into these exact blessed words today; a sign you are far from alone.
Where you are broken down, there is the Lord right now. I want to make a bold step, and speak out in gratitude for the Lord allowing you to share in His cross. I know life seems heavy some days, but that isn’t a sign of the Lord’s Love being lacking—even there He reigns. Step one was remaining in thanksgiving, and now we have the opportunity to recognize the overabundance of grace that flows through you. Today, even in stretching, you are a fountain of the Lord’s grace that nourishes many. Raise those eyes from the burden, and behold the God who loves you.
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 feel broken down? Defeated? Destroyed?
Have you acknowledged the good that you're grateful for?
Are you more likely to see the positive or the negative in a situation?
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.
"I'm grateful Lord."
"I need you Lord."
"I love 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?
Take a ten minutes today to write down (physical pen and paper) everything you're grateful for today. Gratitude has been shown to be an overwhelming force for good in our lives, don't let another moment go by without acknowledging all you're grateful for!
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 Fr. Robert Blood, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.
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