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).
Why is it so easy to sin, but so hard to act righteously? This is a question I ponder so often as I find myself in line for confession over and over again.
I continually ask the Lord why He chose me, such a sinner, so broken, to do the things He has called me to. It doesn’t make sense… it feels like I failed Him. And I know I am not the only one who feels that way… even Moana felt that way (the sea being a metaphor for God of course). But God still sees righteousness in me, He still sees the good in all of us. Like with Abraham and David, God didn’t lift up these men because everything they did was perfect. They had deep faith and continually strived to follow the heart of the Lord. True faith purifies our hearts, our actions, and our desires. It changes us at our core and everything we do is made righteous through it.
I know so many people who go on mission trip after mission trip to make up for what they do (or don’t do) the other 51 weeks of the year. While mission trips are good and necessary, if they do not come from a place of deep faith, then we will not be changed and we will not grow closer to God. God knows your heart and sees through your actions, good or bad. Obviously if you are doing something really bad, seriously damaging your relationship with God, you need to work on that, but let's work on purifying our hearts first. Then our actions will follow. If our hearts are pure and chasing the Lord, nothing can stop us from loving and serving our neighbor all the more.
You are good, not because of what you do, but because of who you are… because of who your heart loves. Let your heart love the Lord and your actions follow your heart.
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 do you think God is calling you to? Are you following that call?
Does your faith purify your heart, your thoughts and desires? How does your faith need to grow in order for this change to take place within you?
Where is your heart? Does it trust and rest in the Lord?
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.
"You are good."
"You have my heart."
"Purify my heart."
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?
Pay close attention to your actions today. Focus your mind on God through prayer and choose to act righteously. Direct your heart to God in all that you do today.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Sean Norris, Youth Minister at Our Lady of the Wayside Parish in Arlington Heights, IL.
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