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).
At this moment in my life, I’m faced with a somewhat significant choice I have to make in the near future. I am deciding by gathering knowledge to make an informed decision, as well as taking into account practical considerations and my own aspirations. Then comes in God. As Christians, we should all want to do God’s will. The decision I’m wrestling with has a spiritual component to it, which has me wanting to be even more attuned to God and his plan in it all.
Yet, I’m still uncertain. Attempting to decipher God’s will does not necessarily make any decision easier or quicker to resolve. However, I believe we can all take away a few lessons from today’s Psalm that will allow us to fall in line with God’s will a bit more effectively.
The first lesson we can take away is maintaining a spirit of obedience and openness to God in our decisions. I’ve found I sometimes get so one-minded in my path forward, I don’t even stop to listen or consider God’s and his thoughts on the matter. God asks us to give him the offering of “open ears to obedience” in the first verse of the Psalm. In the decision I’m facing, I’m going to do my best to at least keep my ears open and be attentive to the many ways God may reveal his will.
The second lesson is similar, but equally as important. We need to do our best to align our hearts with God’s heart. The next verse of the Psalm reads, “To do your will, O my God, is my delight, and your law is within my heart!” God’s law of love is written on our hearts through the natural law. However as the Catechism of the Catholic Church points out, “there are many obstacles which prevent reason from the effective and fruitful use of this inborn faculty” (CCC 37). In my experience, daily prayer, Mass, spiritual reading (especially scripture), and works of charity are excellence ways to re-align our hearts to God’s heart. By following these practices, I can be assured that my desires are growing closer to God’s.
Finally, we can do as the Psalmist does. We can approach God in prayer. We can make the powerful declaration, “Here I am Lord, I come to do your will”, and continue to make that declaration confidently over the course of our decision making process. God will hear our message loud and clear, and even if we ultimately make a decision we regret or believe was contrary to God’s will, He will redeem it. We know that all things work for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). If we are trying to truly love God and do His will, we should take confidence that He will work all things for our good.
So as I weigh my decision, I’m going to make sure I come to God, bringing with a spirit of obedience, a heart of love, and make the declaration: “Here I am Lord, I come to do your will”.
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.
How do you make your big decisions? Do you check in with God and see what His will is? Why?
Are you actively aligning your heart with God's will?
How do can you be a better instrument of God's will?
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.
"Here I am, Lord."
"I want to do your will."
"Lead me in your love."
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?
Work on actively aligning your heart with God's will. Whether it be through daily prayer,spiritual reading (especially scripture), doing a work of charity, or going to Mass, offer yourself and open your heart to God and His will.
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Today's Prayer was prepared by Liam Brady, an accountant in Chicago.
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