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).
You shall follow through with your promises. You will encounter each obstacle with joy. You will enter deeply into the why of your sacrifices. Because He is the Lord.
You will abstain from meat on Fridays. You will give to those in need in some special way this season. You will give prayer pride of place. Because He is the Lord.
You will fast—in whatever ways your heart needs most. You will lay at the foot of the cross all disordered love of lesser goods. Because He is the Lord.
Leviticus can seem negative on first glance. You can’t do that, or that, or ooooh yeah never that. But you have to do this, and this, and oh definitely some of this. Lent can easily become like Leviticus. Valentine’s Day was set aside to reflect on how you’re gonna die. You can’t eat meat on Friday. You offer up some sacrifice which, if you pick it well, by day 3 is already a burden. You’re inundated with purple and slow hymns. Prayers are turned to aid our awareness of our sinfulness and help us to enter into the sacrifice of the cross. Kinda dreary huh? Not at all. It’s a season of Life for one key reason. For He is the Lord.
Stretching our hearts isn’t necessarily an easy occasion—but in Lent we are stretching our hearts for the Lord. We have the opportunity to unite our small sacrifices with the most beautiful sacrifice in the history of the world where the Lord died for love of you.
I had the opportunity a few weeks ago to visit Israel and a specific prayer rose to the surface of my heart. Christ wept over Jerusalem in their lack of faith, in their divisions, in their not recognizing the effect their choices made on the world. Christ weeps over our souls in our lack of faith, in our divided hearts, and in our not recognizing the effects of our sin. Our Lord doesn’t run from Jerusalem though; He enters into Jerusalem knowing that it would lead to His death. He also doesn’t run from our distorted souls. He comes in haste into our hearts amidst the disorder knowing that by His love, and our simple sacrifices, we might be the ones to die to ourselves and He might live in us.
I pray that we might never forget the joyful life-giving reason for any and every sacrifice we make in this Lenten season. It’s because He is the Lord and He loves us.
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.
Is my Lenten sacrifice bringing me closer to God?
Where can I recognize that "He is the Lord" in my daily life today?
Where can I find joy in my sacrifice today?
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 love you Lord."
"You are the Lord of my life."
"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?
We sacrifice during Lent because "He is the Lord". Fast from complaining today. From complaining about your Lenten fast. From complaining about what others are doing. From complaining about how hard it is to give something up.
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"Today's prayer was prepared by Robert Blood, seminarian of the Diocese of Rockford.
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