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
What are your idols?
One of my faults when reading Scripture is that I often dismiss the actions of the Israelites as foolish. “I wouldn’t do that,” I tell myself. In the book of Exodus, Moses comes down from the mountain where God had spoken to him and given him the Ten Commandments. Upon his arrival at the camp of Israel, he finds them worshipping a golden calf made from their own hands. Furious, he breaks the tablets and returns to the mountain to ask God’s forgiveness of his people.
I like to think that I would be like Moses, filled with righteous anger and untainted by idolatry. But to dismiss the fact that I might be like the other Israelites who doubt God and turn to a safe, shiny alternative, that would be to ignore my own failings.
In the same way, when Solomon turns from the Lord and begins worshipping the idols of other gods, it would be easy to say, “He was raised better than that. I would not fall away as he did.”
Maybe you have been gifted with a solid foundation of faith. Maybe you will never be tempted to leave the Catholic Church. But that doesn’t mean idols can’t get in the way.
In today’s world, our idols look a little different. Instead of worshipping statues of other gods, we worship the things that bring us comfort: television and social media, sports and extracurriculars, body image and what other people think of us. Even the people closest to us can be turned into idols. Ultimately, anything that we prioritize above God becomes an idol.
Just as Solomon’s wives turned his heart from loving the true God, so too can we look at the lives of those around us and be tempted away from God. We naturally want to love what is important to those closest to us. But when our friends or family love sports or entertainment or any other thing above God, it becomes idolatry.
So, take some time to look at your life, and ask yourself, “What are my idols? What do I love above God?” Don’t be afraid of the answer, for we have a God of mercy, and he is always asking us to come back to him.
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 are your idols? What do you love above God?
Who in your life leads you away from God? Who is someone who leads you closer to Christ?
How can you cut back on your idols? What do you need to do to put God first 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.
"You are my life."
"I worship you alone."
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?
It's time to put God first. Identify what your idols are and why you put them above God. Today, begin putting God first by cutting back on your idols or changing the way you think about them. For example, if social media is an idol, spend time away from your phone and laptop. Start small but me intentional with your time, thoughts, and prayers.
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Today's Prayer was prepared by Ava Lalor, an editor for a Catholic newspaper.
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