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).
I’ve tried to build up my faith in the past. There were days, even weeks, where I seemed to be making huge strides but as soon as the rain came, I realized that I wasn’t nearly as far as I had hoped. I feel like when it rains, I start to backslide. Do I have to start over? Again? Am I ever going to have it together?
I had a priest hero who used to say ‘God’s mercies are made new every morning’, and every December our sweet Church reminds us of these new mercies. The Church year has begun again and we begin in expectant hope that Jesus is coming. It can feel a little funny celebrating the coming of the birth of Christ, after having celebrated His adult ministry for so many months but the Lord knew we could use a fresh beginning, and there is no shame in that.
If you look over the last year of faith and are disappointed that your shelter wasn’t as sturdy as you’d hoped, decide to begin again. We start with setting the foundation; daily prayer. It doesn’t have to look a certain way; the beginning of our house is just living in the knowledge Jesus wants to be with you. Lifting the walls could be the intentional choosing to be present to your friends, even when they don’t know how to care well in return. We should also cover our house with the sturdy roof of humility. True humility isn’t belittling ourselves, but instead being honest about where we are. I’m weak, and I fall often. However, God has lavished me in love and the world is a more beautiful place just because I am me.
The steps to rebuilding the faith from the ground up can be frustrating, especially in its repetitiveness, but each time the rain or the wind causes things to rock or even fall you’re being made stronger. Each time you put the house of faith back together you’ve gained more skill, more practice, and more strength. If you feel weaker going into this new liturgical year, I want to say as your father—You have been made strong. I, and your Heavenly Father are incredibly proud of you. God’s mercies are made new every morning, and if you need help in the construction process, know you are never alone.
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 "rain" in your life has damaged your shelter of faith? In what ways do you need to rebuild?
What steps will you take to rebuild your shelter? How will you compose a faith based on prayer, action, humility, and love?
How will knowing that God's mercies are made new every morning change your perspective as you grow in faith this advent season?
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.
"Have mercy on me, Lord."
"I want to grow closer to you."
"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?
Begin rebuilding your house of faith. Let this liturgical season be a fresh start and make a practical game plan or blue print for how you will rebuilt your relationship with God. Trust in His new and never ending mercy and strive to be closer to Him through prayer, virtue, and love.
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. Robert Blood, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.
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