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).
Who doesn't long for peace? Who doesn't want rest and comfort? I would love a smooth ride straight through life that read right up to the gates of Heaven. Alas, something as wonderful as Heaven doesn't come so easy.
We all have the desire for love, rest, peace, consolation, joy, and fulfillment. Well, you can have it... just not completely in this life. In today's first reading, the first half of the passage describes what we are all feeling, that longing for who God is and what He has to offer, even if we don't recognize that this longing in all our hearts is for God. Only in God are our hearts put to rest, our burdens lightened, and our joy complete. You just can't find the fullness of that anywhere else.
Why don't we have all that goodness and greatness now? The sad truth is that it's because we sin. The more we sin and turn away from God, the more we feel the second half of today's passage. Our labor to money, pleasure, popularity, success, all leads to empty winds. It's a rocky road of loneliness and emptiness. The road to Heaven, the road of those who seek God and turn away from sin, is a difficult road to travel, but it's smooth. It is the way of peace of heart and mind, though not without struggle and difficulty. It is hard to turn away from sin and give all of yourself to God, but it is possible. This smooth road is open to everyone and leads to everlasting life. Isaiah writes "but your dead shall live, their corpses shall rise; awake and sing, you who lie in the dust." All people die, but those who strive for God and love Him with their whole hearts will live with God forever.
Eternal rest, joy, and love does not come easily, but it is what God wants for all of us. Accept the invitation to peace and love God is offering to you today. Turn to God and look forward to eternal life with the One who loves you more than you could possibly imagine.
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.
Where do you seek rest? What brings you peace? Is it lasting rest and peace?
What struggles have you faced recently? How has Christ helped you through them?
How often do you think of everlasting life? Will you make eternal life the focus of your life here on earth?
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 will follow You."
"You give me rest."
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?
Write down a Scripture passage that calls you on or inspires you to be a better Christian, to love God and neighbor better. Keep that passage with you all day. At the end of the day, put it in a place you will see it every day. Let that passage form your heart to love God more and put Him in the center of your life.
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 Mary Griffin, a graduate student of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville.
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.