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).
Last night, one of my roommates was telling us of a friend of hers that has been diagnosed with an inoperable form of cancer. When this girl was told the news that the cancer had spread so far that it was unlikely they would be able to do anything, her response was, “Pray, hope, and don’t worry.” Now I’ve heard this quote from St. Padre Pio probably a hundred times, but it’s never stayed in my head for more than 3 seconds before. Until now.
In the first reading for today, the Lord says, “You have sown much, but you have brought in little; you have eaten, but have not been satisfied; you have drunk, but have not been exhilarated; have clothed yourselves, but not been warmed; and whoever earned wages earned them for a bag with holes in it.”
As I was reflecting on and praying about this passage, the Lord prompted me with a question. “My child, what do you put your trust in?”
So often, my answer to that question is anything but Him: my parents, my friends, my hobbies, the things I’m good at, and most of all, myself. I live my life apart from Him, except maybe the time I spend in prayer every day. During that time in prayer, it’s easy for me to have the Lord as center of my life, as the thing in which I place my trust. But as soon as I walk out of that chapel or close my bible, I’m back at the center of my life, with Him only as a part of it. I don’t trust Him or anyone but myself with my life: with my work, my friendships, my relationships, my future.
And living this way, I’m often frustrated at the lack of peace that I seem to have. I sow much, but I reap little. I eat, but I’m not satisfied. I clothe myself, but am still cold. I gain things, but only to put them in a bag with holes in it. I’m so often riddled with anxiety and worry. What if I fail in this? What if I don’t make enough money? What if I don’t find someone to love me?
But when we model our lives after this quote from Padre Pio, something changes. Pray, hope, and don’t worry. When we choose to do this, we’re saying, “God, I trust you. I entrust these things to You in my time of prayer, I hope in Your goodness because I’ve seen it at work in my life, and I know that I need not worry because You are my good Father.”
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.
Who or what do you put your trust in? What are the areas of your life that you are failing to trust the Lord?
What are the parts that aren’t bearing fruit because you’re placing your hope in yourself rather than Him?
How can you choose to pray, hope, and don’t worry this day?
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.
"Do not worry."
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?
Live out the words, "Pray, hope, and don't worry." Take time for prayer, place all your hope in the Lord, and do not worry about the things of this world.
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 Catie Destatte, a St. Paul's Outreach Missionary at University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, MN.