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).
“The Lord opened her heart to pay attention.”
While Lydia might be a smaller and lesser known character in Scripture, I think her story has a big message. We don’t know much of her back story, but I think it’s fair to presume that she lived a decent life and was an overall good person. Most importantly, she was open. The Lord doesn’t force our hearts open, but when we invite the Holy Spirit in, God begins to open our hearts and eyes to what is before us. For Lydia, the words of Paul stirred her heart in a deep and lasting way, so deep that she and her entire family were baptized.
While going for a walk the other day, I was listening to a new worship song the other day (“Available” by Elevation Worship), and the words struck me in a way that I haven’t felt in a long time. I don’t think it is for lack of encountering anything meaningful recently, but I think I have in many ways allowed my heart to become hardened by focusing more on the negative aspects than the positive aspects of this time. I think, if we give the Lord permission, this time can truly bring about an awakening of our hearts. Then we, like Lydia, can invite the Lord to come and stay in our homes.
My husband and I are so looking forward to when we can have friends over again, especially now that the weather is getting nicer out here in the Midwest. We dream of sitting with friends on our balcony and sharing life and practicing hospitality again. But hospitality goes beyond just welcoming people into our home. Hospitality offers others a glimpse into our heart and our life, through which they can hopefully encounter Christ and His love. In order for that to happen, we must remember our Baptism, the moment that God first truly entered our hearts in a radical way. Like Lydia, may we too open our hearts to pay attention to the voice of Christ, and may our hearts and homes be places where people can encounter the love of God through 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 your heart open to the Lord? Is it open to your will or His will?
When did you first experience the Love of God?
Where are you letting your heart dwell?
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.
"Open my heart Lord."
"Help me hear you."
"Touch my heart 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?
In this difficult time, we will use our Action step each day to join with people around the world in praying for an end to the pandemic of the Coronavirus, for the healing of all those affected, and for the comfort of all those who have lost a loved one. The prayer below is from Archbishop José H. Gomez, President of the USCCB in his reflection and prayer during coronavirus:
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe,
Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas.
We fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son,
as you did at the wedding in Cana.
Pray for us, loving Mother,
and gain for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.
We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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 Maggie Super, Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.
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.