Step #1: Lectio / Read
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
So today is a tough day for me. As I read that first line of the second paragraph "Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone" I was literally about to leave to look at the tombstone we are about to buy for my sister's grave. See today is a tough day because today is my youngest sister's birthday, but it is also the day we are burying her. She passed away 5 months ago today and not a day goes by that I do not miss her like crazy, but today we finally get the chance to bury her ashes.
Now I know this is not my journal, so I am sharing this for a reason. While my family continues to mourn the physically death of my sister, many of us are spiritually dying and we pay no attention to it at all. Death is tough. It has literally been the hardest thing I have ever dealt with, but I have 100% confidence that she is still living, even more fully, in heaven. It is right and just to mourn the dead, but physical death is nothing compared to spiritual death.
St. Paul talks about how it is not just the letter of law that we must follow, but the Spirit of God. They are not contradictory, but it is not our own discipline or our own merit that gets us to heaven. It is grace and love. We have confidence in heaven because of God, not our own qualification. He died so I can go to heaven, so you can go to heaven, and so my 22 year old sister Heather could be with Him in heaven today for what would have been her 23rd birthday.
We need to cooperate with grace, we need to participate in God's love. Action is required on our part, but it is His grace and love that saves us, not ours. For those of you who have lost someone like I have, trust in God's mercy. Jesus died for sinners, not for the sinless (well except His mom of course). We need to run this race as best as we can, but know that God picks up the slack for us. Always. Try your hardest and trust in God's love and mercy. And please keep my family in your prayers today as well as anyone who has lost someone they are close to, especially at such a young age.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
Are you more concerned about your physical health/life than your spiritual health/life? How can you refocus more on your spiritual health?
Do you trust God's mercy as must as you trust your own discipline or actions? How can you learn to trust His mercy more and more?
How do you love well? How can you continue to love better?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
"Jesus I trust in you."
"Help me to love like you."
"Come Holy Spirit."
Step #5: Actio / Act
Heather wasn't perfect, no one is, but she loved well. Share the love of God with someone today in a personal way.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Sean Norris, a theology teacher at JSerra Catholic High School in Orange County, CA.
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