Step #1: Lectio / Read
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
“He shall bring forth justice to the nations, not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street.”
We seem to see and hear plenty of voices shouting and crying out in the streets these days. And often our natural reaction is to shout or cry out back. Yet, this is not the way of the Kingdom. The way of the Kingdom comes in peace. The way of the Kingdom disarms the shouter and the one crying out by offering an attentive ear to listen to their concerns. This is quite difficult to do when it seems the only way to be heard among amidst the noise and chaos is to shout. Yet, as I was praying with this verse in my own lectio, the Lord kind of turned that practical and narrow-minded thought of mine on its head:
“Sometimes the only way to be heard amidst the noise and chaos is to listen.”
Perhaps this is something for you and I to sit with as we enter into this Holy Week. So often we want to assert ourselves, we want to share our opinion or our experience because it seems more important or more valid or more true than another person's. And perhaps that might be the case sometimes. And perhaps other times it is not. Either way, we have something to learn from listening to the other person who sees things differently than we do. And oftentimes all people want is to be heard- why else would they be crying out? And when we stop to listen and listen with silent reverence without interrupting or interjecting with our own thoughts, we are Christ to them, “we bring forth justice to the nations.” Sometimes our silence allows us to be heard far more loudly than does our shouting out.
Think of one person this week who grinds your gears, or who you find particularly uninteresting, or who you thinks very different than you and hold different beliefs than you do. Seek that person out, engage them in conversation, and then sit in silence and listen. This may be easier for some than others, but I encourage you to give it a try. You would be surprised what type of bridges can be built, what type of justice can be brought forth, by just listening to another. Then, let the Resurrection surprise you with how Christ transforms that small little act of yours into something far greater than you would have ever thought.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
What is the difference between hearing and listening? How is the Lord calling you to listen?
Who annoys you? How can you better listen to them?
Life is chaotic. Are you spending time in silence? How can you increase your silent prayer time to listen to the Lord?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
"Here I am Lord."
"Help me to Listen."
"Help me be silent."
Step #5: Actio / Act
Today for your fast, don't talk, listen. Fast from responding to someone immediately. Instead of immediately responding, truly listen to what they have to say.
Today, can you also tithe as part of your Lent? Carpe Verbum is only possible through our monthly donors and we appreciate your support. Anyone who becomes a monthly donor will help us plant the seeds of faith for teens across the US and will receive a packet of seeds as a token of our thanks.
Smartphone Lock Screen
Today's prayer was prepared by Austin Ashcraft, a graduate student in New Orleans.
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.