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).
What are we giving up for this Lent? Lots of people give up chocolate or candy or carbohydrates and then in the back of their minds they think, "Awesome I can get two birds with one stone! I can give something up for Lent and go on a diet. So I'm on a 40-day diet for Jesus!" But remember the Lord said, "Be holy as I am Holy." Not be skinny as I am skinny. So recognize that giving things up for Lent is crucial and that we should be giving things up because sacrifice comes the Latin word 'sacra' which literally means 'holy' and so we only become Holy by making sacrifices. The goal is holiness, not how we look or how we are going to feel.
In fact typically a sacrifice isn't enjoyable. Think of Jesus on the cross, there wasn't anything fun about dying, but it was only because he knew his sacrifice would save the world; therefore he found the sweetness in His pain. And so ask yourself, 'What am I giving up daily that will save my soul and the people around me?' If you love the show 'Game of Thrones' give it up! If you love YouTube give it up! If you love listening to music in the car, give it up! Maybe here's an even more difficult challenge...
Give up your pride! This Lent call the person that you've been fighting with whether it's a brother or a friend or parent and set aside your pride and say, "I'm sorry if I hurt you." Give up your anger! Is there a someone in your mind that every time you hear their name you become angry...give it to God and say, "I no longer possess this anger." Give up your hurt! If somebody put you down in the past or called you names or made you feel worthless give up your hurt to God and say, "Jesus this Lenten season heal me and let me be resurrected with you!"
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.
A huge part of our call as Christians is to love our neighbor. How does what you are doing for Lent help you love your neighbor better?
How can you complain less about your sacrifices this Lent and make them more meaningful?
Pray through that last paragraph again... how could your life change if you give up things like these for 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.
"I give you my pride, Lord."
"Here is my whole heart, Lord."
"Help me love my neighbor."
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?
What you give up this Lent should not only help you love God better, but love your neighbor as well. Take a look at what you are doing this Lent and find a way that it can help you grow to love your neighbor better, and if nothing can, add something to your Lenten journey that will.
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 Fr. Kyle Manno, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.