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).
Both today’s First Reading and Gospel present us with a reality about spiritual physics. It’s called the Mysterium Iniquitatis.
Saint Paul summarizes it very well. To paraphrase: why is it that I do the things I don’t wanna do but I don’t do the things I really want to do? (cf. Romans 7:15-20). I know I’ll feel great if I sit down and pray for a while. I’ll experience peace in that moment. I’ll experience an overarching sense of peace the rest of the day. If I take a few moments to pray, it will bear fruit in my interactions with others today. Even the quality of my work will be better if I pray a lil’ bit.
Oh well. I think I’ll go watch Netflix.
Or, the flip side. I know that if I eat that Double Quarter Pounder from McDonald’s I’ll feel terrible for like 4 hours. I’ll have an upset tummy until I have Wendy’s for dinner. I’ll have the number 4 please!
We all get caught up in this Mysterium Iniquitatis – avoiding good and engaging in sin, even though we know the consequences! Paul is clear in his letter to the Romans. Jesus is direct in the Gospel. This sort of living, following our own base, fleshly, fleeting, immediate desires will cause our souls to shrivel up and die.
If we want life, if we want to flourish, to grow roots, to be men and women for others whose lives radiate purpose, contentment, peace, fulfillment, faith, confidence in God’s Will, if we want to radiate joy, we have to remember to do His Will and not our own.
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 some things in your life where you find it difficult to not give in to the Mysterium Iniquitatis?
What is God asking you to change about your habits – big or small – in order to do His will and not your own more regularly?
In what way can you choose beginning today to sacrifice something that you desire in order to do God's will?
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.
"Your will be done."
"I choose you."
"Come, Holy Spirit."
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?
Make a small sacrifice today, helping yourself see that you don't always need to give in to every desiree that you have. It doesn't need to be giving up something that is bad for you (although it can be); maybe you can just choose not to have the extra helping of french fries or not to watch another episode of your favorite show on Netflix. If your sacrifice gives you extra time, replace that time with extra prayer!
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. Jon Bakkelund, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.
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.