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).
In many ways, I have quite honestly been dreading this Lent. For me, this next month is going to be incredibly busy at work, and meanwhile, I’m supposed to be keeping up with my extra prayer, fasting, and almsgiving for Lent. While it may still be well below freezing where I live, I truly feel for the first time like I’m entering into the dry, dry desert this Lent.
And in the moments when I feel overwhelmed by this season in the Church and this season in my life, the words of the Prophet Joel, which we read in today’s first reading, ring loud and clear in my soul: “Rend your hearts, not yours garment, and return to the Lord your God.”
This desert is probably going to feel long and probably never-ending at points (much like winter in the midwest), but the Lord desires only our hearts this season. He does not care how pretty or messy things look on the outside. He does not want our garments and outward appearances; he wants our hearts. Even the hearts that feel battered and bruised, he wants them too. All the little sacrifices, penances, and prayers we offer mean little if we have not truly given our hearts over to the Lord. He is not as concerned about how we fold our hands when we pray, as he is about the disposition of our hearts when we show up to pray.
The true power of this season comes not from our individual sacrifices and prayers alone but from the offering of those sacrifices and prayers together with Christ and with one another in the midst of the desert. At Carpe Verbum, we have chosen to focus on the image of the desert for this Lent. You will see it reflected in our lock screens and in many of the mediations, but we pray that you will also join us in the desert spiritually. No matter what the desert looks like for you this Lent, we will be praying there with you. Together, may we come to taste the rich, fruitful joy of the Resurrection found only at the end of the desert.
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 am I dreading going into this season?
Have I truly given my heart over to Christ in this season? If not, what steps do I need to take to do so?
How will I embrace the desert this Lent?
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.
"Rend your hearts."
"Return to the Lord."
"Your Father will repay you."
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?
Begin Lent today with a prayer of surrender to the Lord as we begin this season. Truly surrender to Him your heart, and trust that he will repay you a hundredfold.
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 Maggie Overbeck, Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.
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.