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).
When I was a kid (and heck well into my adult life now), I idolized the St. Louis Blues. Hockey was my favorite sport and every year I hoped against hope my boys in blue would hoist the greatest trophy in all of sports, the Stanley Cup (which they did last year and could again this year, but tbh when you’re reading this they may already have been booted from the playoffs).
When I was five, I proudly proclaimed to my brother: “I’m going to be on the Blues when I’m older!” To which he wisely said: “Well, do you know what it takes to be a professional hockey player? The physical and mental fitness you have to have? The years of work it takes?” To which I said: “Of course I do!” (I didn’t), and proceeded to sprint off from home to go run to start getting in shape. My brother picked me up panting on the side of the road five minutes later in his truck.
Looking back on that moment helps me relate to today’s readings and a most blessed feast day in the Church. What my five-year-old self was lacking was humility, to understand what I didn’t know and to be willing to submit myself to do what was necessary to achieve the goal. But that’s only a limited human view at looking at this. Today in the Church we celebrate the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary and someone who knew full well – better than anyone ever has or will – the scope of true humility and greatness. She knew that, to be great, you have to become little; to be exalted you have to go low; and to be regarded as the Queen of Heaven and earth you have to be willing to submit, to throw down your preconceived notions, plans, desires, and wants to succumb to the awesome and all-encompassing love and power of the Lord.
If you look around at the world, you’ll see a poverty of humility. If you are honest with yourself, you’ll see a poverty of humility in yourself. Lord knows I see it in myself 24/7. How curious it is that, in the face of a good Lord who made us, loves us, and knows perfectly how we can achieve complete fulfillment and happiness, we so often chose ourselves instead. We choose to hang onto our pride and what we think we need or need to do. And yet, true happiness, true exaltedness, true glory, goes back to that story of my naïve five-year-old self: before the glory of the Christ, we have to be willing to admit what we don’t know. We have to be willing to be okay with what we don’t know, and most importantly, to humbly submit to Him and to what He deems as necessary for us. Then, we'll be able to be united to Him, in service of others, and thus truly happy in this life as we live for something beyond it: the glory of being with our Lord and one another in Heaven.
So today, renounce pride. Examine where in your life you need more humility and ask the Lord for it. He will give it to you and your life will be infinitely more peaceful and fulfilled because of it. Mary, Queen of Heaven and earth, pray for us and give us your example and guide us, teaching us to be humble in all things like you were.
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.
In what ways is God calling you today to grow in humility?
What does the example of the Blessed Mother, whose feast we celebrate today, teach you about what it means to grow in relationship with the Lord?
Where in your life do you act in pride, which you need to renounce in order to truly live a life of discipleship and relationship with the Father?
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.
"Lord, help me be humble."
"Jesus, I trust in you."
"Come, Holy Spirit."
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?
Find an opportunity today to humble yourself – put someone else before yourself, not in a way to get attention but just in a way to love another person as the Lord loves them.
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 Matthew Maxwell, a graduate of Franciscan University currently working as a Youth Minister in St. Louis.
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.