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).
I love HGTV. I used to plan my trips to the gym around when Fixer Upper or House Hunters was on, so I could watch it on my personal screen while walking on the treadmill. Even when I go get an oil change for my car, they typically have HGTV on in the waiting, and honestly then I don’t mind if it takes them longer than usual.
I think part of my love for HGTV comes from a real desire for my home to be a place of joy and a place where people feel welcome. While I know that material things never satisfy us (and I honestly can’t afford most of the things on HGTV anyway), I think that even our homes can be places for people to encounter Christ.
Jesus says in the Gospel today, “My house shall be a house of prayer,” and He is righteously angry at those who have made it the exact opposite. In a real way, our own homes should be houses of prayer as well, but I think we often allow the dirt to take over, both literally and metaphorically.
There is something about our homes that often reflects the inner disposition of our own hearts. In my home, there are places that I avoid cleaning because they take too much work, so I often pretend not to notice them. In my heart, there are places I avoid in prayer or don’t bring to the Lord because I know they are messy and cleaning them up is going to be hard work. But eventually, one way or another, we have to go there and work on cleaning up those places in our hearts and homes.
I promise you that your home can look as beautiful, in fact even more beautiful, than the homes on HGTV if you are willing to make your home a place of prayer, a place where people can encounter the Lord. I encourage you to look at your space at home, your heart, your surroundings, and look for ways that you can clean them up a little in order to make room for the Holy Spirit to move.
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 there a place in your house (or even just your room) that you consider a place for prayer?
Do you avoid certain places in your house or your heart because cleaning up that mess would just take too long?
Are you willing to devote some time and energy to creating a space that reminds you of the Lord and His presence in your life?
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.
"Lord, You are welcome here."
"Create a clean heart in me, O Lord."
"Fill me with Your presence."
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?
Find a place today to dedicate to prayer. Maybe it's a cross and a religious image on the wall. Maybe it's a stand devoted to placing your Bible next to the chair where you do your morning prayer. Maybe it's a framed image of Our Lord or Our Lady in a prominent place that anyone who visits will notice. Find something unique to you that invites the Lord into your home and shows that your home is a place dedicated to prayer.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Maggie Overbeck, Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.
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