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).
For many months, my prayer has revolved around one thought: We don’t think about heaven enough. Or, even if we do, we don’t approach it with the correct perspective.
Heaven has always been real to me, and the idea of ending up there after I die has always been my goal. So, like many other people, I’ve focused on being a good person and meeting the qualifications of being a “good” Catholic — Sunday Mass, confession at least during Advent and Lent, trying to maintain a prayer routine, etc.
But, as is the case with so many parts of the spiritual life, the idea of heaven is so abstract and hard to fathom that I simplified it into a nice reward at the end of life.
But heaven is so much more than that. Heaven is union. Heaven is fulfillment.
These are elements we yearn for so deeply during our earthly lives — union with those we love, experiencing the fulfillment of our heart’s desires. And while we can have glimpses of these two longings here and now, they never reach the depth of what our souls long for, what they were created for.
Today’s Psalm touches on this longing. “My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the LORD,” writes the psalmist. “My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.”
Do you ever feel like that? Do you ever recognize that your deepest longings are for God?
I’ll be the first to admit that I often miss the point. Usually when I experience that feeling of deep longing, I mistake it for a desire for earthly relationships or earthly pleasures. I imagine I could be perfectly satisfied if I was with a certain person or if I had a certain thing. And with this perspective, I replace my desire for God and heaven by trying to make the earth my heaven.
And yet, no matter how hard I try, it is never enough. And it never will be.
Thankfully, God has given me the grace to recognize it and to direct my attention to him — or at least try to focus on him. It’s a daily struggle, but one in which I’m never alone, for God is always there to remind me of his presence. And the more I let God love and console me and direct my inward gaze toward my eternal home, the more and more I begin to understand what it means to fall in love with God. I’m far from fully grasping it or living out this love, but I’m making progress.
So, let’s think about heaven — about the God who loves us and made us for fulfillment and unity with himself — and let’s strive to get there together.
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.
Do you ever recognize that your deepest longings are for God?
Is Heaven your Ultimate Goal in life?
What are you willing to let go of in your heart to get your closer to Heaven?
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 enough for me."
"I want to be with you Lord."
"My soul longs for you, O Lord."
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?
Spend 10 minutes just being with the Lord today. Maybe that'll include some worship (maybe with this song), some silence, spending time in Adoration (you can have that online if your parish isn't open yet), or another form of prayer you prefer.
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 Ava Lalor, an editor for a Catholic newspaper.
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