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).
John must have been shocked.
He was standing by the foot of the cross, likely experiencing all the painful emotions that overwhelm us when were faced with suffering: sadness, anger, pain, confusion, and exhaustion. He was probably asking himself the same questions we do whenever tragedy strikes us. Why is the happening? Was there something I could have done to stop it? Why did God allow this? In the midst of all of this, he must have been shocked when Jesus said to Mary, “Woman, behold your son,” and to him, “Behold your mother.”
Jesus was giving everything on the cross. He was giving away his earthly freedom, his comfort, his last breaths, his body and blood, his very life. Just when it seemed like he couldn’t give more he looks down at you and I, his beloved disciples, and he gives us his mother.
Like her son, Mary is no stranger to pain, confusion, and suffering. Jesus Christ allowed her to share deeply in his passion. Jesus also allows us to share in that same passion. Sometimes we experience it because of our own sins. Sometimes it is because of other’s sins. Perhaps it is most difficult when we have no idea why we are suffering. But no matter the cause or the reason, we can always turn to the gift given by Jesus as he hung on the cross. Mary, his mother and ours, Our Lady of Sorrows.
God is always with us in suffering. Our loving God knows exactly what graces and comforts we need to get through the pain of the Cross. He offers us his mother. Mary knows your pain. A human, just like you, she experienced it. She willingly becomes Our Lady of Sorrows beneath the Cross to comfort us in our sorrow. She prays for us and she prays next to us, always lifting our eyes to the one who saves: Her son, Jesus Christ.
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 do you imagine it would have been like to be standing there at the foot of the cross with Mary, John, and the other followers of Jesus who stayed with him all the way to the cross?
Are there any sorrows, pains, or struggles you need to give over to God in a particular way today?
How can you unite yourself more deeply in times of trouble with Jesus on the cross and his mother who suffers with us? Pray for the grace to know how to do that when you need to.
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.
"Jesus, be with me in my sorrow."
"Mary teach me to suffer well."
"Jesus 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?
If you don't have a crucifix in a central location in your room or house, get one and put it up. If you do have one, or when you hang the one that you get, spend some time looking at the crucifix and reflecting on that sacrifice, inviting Our Lady of Sorrows to be with you.
Smartphone Lock Screen
During the month of September, we ask that each day, for the Action step of our lectio divina, everyone prays a Divine Mercy Chaplet together for the healing of all victims of clerical abuse of any kind as well as for the healing and guidance of our Church.
For more information on why we are doing this action step and a simple lock screen or how to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, click here.
Today’s Prayer was prepared by Fr. Anthony Sciarappa who was ordained in 2016 and is a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
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.