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).
What do you do when times are tough? Have you ever asked God for help? Do you turn to Him at all when we are scared, angry, or in pain, asking for help or guidance? Or do we blame God and demand how He could allow suffering to be inflicted upon us?
Let’s look at Tobit. He’s going through some strife as he has lost his sight. How does he respond? With praise! He recognizes that God is all good, merciful, and loving, even though he’s going through such a difficult time in his life. He knows that even when He feels like God is punishing him, God has not abandoned him. Instead of blaming God in anger, Tobit submits himself to the will of the Father and trusts in His plan. He knows that God will hear his prayers and that the worst thing that could happen to him would be to separated from God.
Sarah also faces suffering in this reading. She is so deeply hurt by false accusations that she even contemplates taking her own life. When someone hurts you, what do you do? I know I struggle with letting myself be consumed by anger or hurt and not being open to God’s love. It is so easy to let ourselves fester in our anger and lose sight of God.
However, Sarah thinks of her loved ones and of God in her pain. She, like Tobit, praises Him saying, “Blessed are you, O Lord, merciful God, and blessed is your holy and honorable name. Blessed are you in all your works for ever!" What a seemingly contradictory thing to do! Why praise God when we are in pain? Because He hears all the prayers of his children and answers them. He sends help to those who are in need and works in mysterious ways. We can see this plainly as He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world so that we might know His unending love and mercy to all people. God will never abandon us and will never leave us. Even when He feels distant from us or we blame Him, He is always there for us.
We can look at the example of Tobit and Sarah to see how God is always listening to our prayers and is with us in our hardships. He is not the cause of evil and suffering, but will bring about something good from them, like Tobit and Sarah’s healing and conversion of heart back to God. God is loving and merciful, He has never and will never abandon His people and we can trust in Him at all times.
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.
When something bad or stressful happens in your life, what do you do? Do you turn to God in anger or frustration? Or do you give God praise?
Is it hard for you to praise God in the midst of suffering?
When you are suffering, where is God? How can you seek Him?
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.
"Blessed are you, O'Lord."
"God is with me."
"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?
Today, think of things in the last week that have not gone right or the way you wanted them too. Maybe you have suffered greatly or watched a friend suffer greatly. Think back on these moments and find a way to praise God in the midst of these storms.
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.
Mary Griffin is going into her senior year at Franciscan University of Steubenville studying Theology and Catechetics. She is interning this summer at St. Mary in Huntley, IL.