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).
Balance is one of the hardest things to find in this world. So often we are swayed by the extremes; that something has to be completely one way or the other, and our faith is no different. Today’s Gospel explores that same dilemma. Is it good to not work on Sunday and keep the Lord’s day holy? Yes, of course! But is it also good to help someone, especially someone who is helpless on their own? Yes, of course! So what happens when these two goods seem to be at odds with each other. How can we find balance to honor both commands?
Well, the first thing we need to acknowledge if we want to find balance is that there has to be a set of priorities; that sometimes one thing has to win out. If that is the case, do you split it 50/50 or is one slightly more important than the other. If we don’t have the ability to prioritize when absolutely needed, then we may find ourselves following arbitrary guidelines and really get messed up.
Another important thing to acknowledge is the intention of our actions and the spirit of the law. Sometimes it is easier for us to chase a legalistic holiness where we follow the letter of a law perfectly and then are somehow holier than others. Yes, we are called to follow God’s laws. But why? This is the really important point when we are trying to think of a holy balance. We are called to follow the laws because in doing so we become more loving of God and others. If an action is not doing that, even if it follows the letter of the law, we are probably not doing it right.
We need to stop simply striving for legalistic holiness, and strive for a more holistic holiness. We need to remember to follow God’s laws and commands, and also to let them transform our hearts so that we choose to love God first and our neighbor as ourselves. The law of love doesn’t eliminate the laws before it, it enhances them. So let’s strive for a holy balance, a holistic holiness.
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.
Where do you find yourself getting so caught up in doing things "perfect" in your eyes that you forget we are called to be perfect as Our Heavenly Father is perfect - in love?
Where to you need to find a more holy balance in your life? What are some practical steps to achieving that today?
How can you choose to love more 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.
"Jesus I trust in You."
"Jesus I love You."
"Lord, give me peace."
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?
Today, write down two lists. One list of ways you can love better today (or tomorrow) and one list of ways you can be more disciplined today (or tomorrow). Everytime you add one thing to one list, make sure to add one to the other as well. Let these 2 lists help you stay balanced as you continue to strive for holiness as a whole person.
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 Sean Norris, a theology teacher at JSerra Catholic High School in Orange County, CA.
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.