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).
We have all had those moments in our lives that we have stopped and thought, "Lord, where are you?" In the midst of the current stresses in my life and the wake of the devastation from hurricanes and shootings, it can often be hard for me to see the Lord working and present. We hunker down in our stress and our sadness; we pull the covers over our heads and push the snooze button one more time. Why, oh Lord, is this happening to me? Where are you?
When I read the words in the responsorial psalm, I was immediately drawn to those moments of distress. The words are strong and true. "The Lord will not abandon his people." I repeated that over and over again to myself, and I even had to break it down word by word. "The Lord": Our Lord, who is all good and knows our inner self. "Will Not": God's word is true. He has shown that time after time in the scriptures. "Abandon his people": We are HIS people. He made us. We will not be left on our own.
When we take off the covers and open our eyes, we can see that the Lord has not left us to perish. He has not cast off his people. He has given us many blessings. We have to open our eyes and hearts to see them. Times of distress are great times to look inside our hearts and our lives and take note of what is true, good, and beautiful in our lives. Where in our lives has God shown up and been our help and guide. When was it that our feet were slipping? How did the Lord sustain you? If your foot is slipping right now, ask the Lord to help you up and to put your feet back on solid ground.
The Lord wants to be present to each of us in every moment of our lives. He has given us the truth of the Church and has shown us the way of happiness. It is a call to follow Him and trust in His goodness. It is easy to fall into the pit of "why me" and throw a pity party for yourself. But instead of dismissing those feelings or crawling into the pit further, bring those cares to the Lord. Feeling abandoned? Tell Him you feel abandoned. Ask Him to show His kindness and shower fatherly affection on you. Feeling like you are falling away from where God wants you to be? Tell Him! Ask Him to show you the way and to help guide those weary (or in my case, often stubborn) feet. Feeling like everything in the world is crumbling around you because of hate? Tell Him what is in your heart. Ask Him for the gift of love and ask Him where He wants you to bring that love.
It is okay to ask, "Lord, where are you?" But be assured, that even in those darkest moments, the Lord is that flicker of light. He will not abandon you. He will not fall away.
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.
Where do find it hardest to see God? Where do you feel most alone?
What keeps you from seeing that God is always with you?
How can you invite God into that place of abandonment? What do you need to ask or tell God so that He can lead you and open your eyes to His presence?
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.
"Hear me, God."
"You are with me."
"Lord, I trust in 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?
Invite God into your heart, let Him see where you feel abandoned. In this time of prayer, ask the Lord to show you how He is moving in your life, how He has never left you alone. Today, trust in God and His promise to never abandon you.
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 Megan Kramer, a parishioner at St. Mary's Parish in Huntley, IL.