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).
Philippians 4:6 is one of the first bible verses I ever had memorized, and it is one of the most popular ones as well. It is simple, straightforward, and reminds us of the peace we can receive when we trust the Lord. A peace that we so desperately need right now in our world and in our hearts.
If there is one epidemic I see on our society today, especially with the youth, it is anxiety. The level of anxiety in teens and young adults is higher than it has ever been, and it has an effect on all of us in one way or anther. I remember times where I couldn't do anything, I couldn't even leave my bed because my anxiety has such a grip on me. And I am a pretty chill/calm guy. I know many people struggle with it way worse than me. I grappled with how to deal with and overcome this anxiety for years, but then started to find a trend.
When the anxiety became too much for me to handle on my own, I would finally give it all to God, go to confession, and let Him clean it all up. This literally worked every time. I am not saying that my anxiety was a result of my sin (although that may have been a partial cause), but they are related. My anxiety came from not trusting God. When I would finally trust Him enough to even just give Him my sins, I could feel the anxiety slip away. Just the tiniest bit of sincere trust was enough to begin to free me from the crippling grip of anxiety.
"Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7). It is time to let go of that anxiety we hold on to so tightly. I know it feels like it is holding on to us, but really it is us not letting it go. Let us reach out and trust the Lord. As we enter into this joyful third week of Advent, let us let go of anxiety and cling tight to the Lord, trusting in Him like we never have before.
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 of your anxieties in life right now? How is anxiety affecting your life right now?
How can you trust the Lord more and let go of some of those anxieties?
Do you believe that God is bigger than your anxiety? Why or why not?
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.
"Jesus, bring your peace."
"Jesus, I trust in you."
"Lord, have mercy on me."
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?
Go to confession. Let go of your sin AND your anxiety. And in that state of grace, you can trust the Lord and combat any temptation of anxiety you may face.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Sean Norris, a theology teacher at JSerra Catholic High School in Orange County, CA.
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