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 in junior high I struggled a lot with self-esteem. It's just such an awkward time in life, you know? I was having difficulty figuring out who I was and what I was meant for. I found myself becoming increasingly unhappy, negative and pessimistic. I refused to accept compliments because I couldn't believe there was anything good enough about me to compliment. I used to journal a lot, and one time I even made a list of things I disliked about myself. I also remember my dad and I having yelling matches. He would try to point out my good qualities and talents, but I would refuse to see reason or any goodness in myself.
During this time, I would cry and pray, cry and pray, cry and pray. I felt trapped, and I called out to the Lord regularly to free me. I usually felt disappointed like He was ignoring me or failing to help me. But I kept coming back to prayer and venting my frustration to my heavenly Father over and over and over again. I journaled prayerfully every day during that time too, and I reflected deeply on what I was feeling. Every once in a while I would get a sense of reassurance and hope from the Lord, and sometimes I even felt like I was making progress. But my pessimism mostly prevented me from really seeing that.
One day I told my parents I was scared. I didn't want to be so sad and negative, but I didn't know what to do. I asked them if I could go see a counselor. So for the first time in my life, I met with a psychiatrist. She started asking me some questions and I gave my best answers. Suddenly she became accusatory: "Who told you to say that? You couldn't have come up with that on your own. Someone must have told you to say that." My answers were insightful, and she assumed another counselor had coached me to think and talk that way. But as you know, I had refused to take any helpful advice from any man or woman on earth (see yelling matches with my dad above)... however, I did spend a lot of time listening to the Lord. And that was the moment I realized how profoundly the Lord had been guiding me all that time, without me even realizing it:
"Resplendent and unfading is wisdom, and she is readily perceived by those who love her, and found by those who seek her. She hastens to make herself known in anticipation of their desire;"
Now I'm not saying that seeking help from a counselor is a bad thing. Actually, I encourage you to talk with a counselor if you're struggling in any way. But I realized that the Lord gave me wisdom during this trying time in my life. In fact, the Lord's wisdom almost seemed to seek me out, like in today's first reading from the book of Wisdom. My openness in prayer was just enough for the Lord to slowly guide me into the truth. That was a big turning point in my life. Ever since then my trust in the Lord's plan for my life has increased. My trust is far from perfect, but I learned that His wisdom is "found by those who seek her." I now seek wisdom from my heavenly Father every day. And even though it may take a while and it often feels like He's ignoring me... He never fails to deliver on His promises.
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 you are upset or frustrated, do you turn to the Lord and seek His guidance and wisdom?
When have you found consolation in the Lord? When you do not feel consolation, how do you persevere in prayer and trust in the Lord?
What do you want to ask the Lord, in his wisdom, to free you from?
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.
"I cry out to you, Lord."
"I seek your wisdom, Lord."
"You're never going to let me down."
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?
Seek God's wisdom today, and realize it may not come to you in a way you expect.
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 Dan Wolff, High School Youth Minister at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.