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).
“Our exhortation was not from delusion or impure motives, nor did it work through deception.”
When we truly fall in love, we desire to share that love with everyone we encounter, whether it is our love for a sports team, a celebrity, a new restaurant, or another person- maybe even the person of Jesus Christ. As we truly begin to encounter Christ and fall in love with our faith, we want others to share in that and even convert to the faith. However, no matter how much we want someone to also fall in love with Christ, it’s not always that simple.
I think often times we think that we can “trick” people into becoming Catholic by sneakily (or not so sneakily) bringing them to Mass or youth group with us, or by subtly (or not so subtly) giving them our favorite Catholic books. We do these things, and I think sometimes we think they will magically work or convince people to be Catholic. But our faith isn’t magic.
While bringing friends to Church or sharing books are all good things, I think the Lord desires us to lead people to Him primarily through relationship. One of my best friends just came into the Church this past Easter, but before that, the biggest stumbling block in the faith for him was the fact that he struggled to believe a personal relationship with God was actually possible.
While we can, and need, to share with people the beauty of our faith, I think first and foremost we need to show them the beauty of the relationship that the Lord desires to have with each one of us. St. Paul knew that his mission would never be successful if he tried to deceive or trick people into believing. Our faith is founded on the Truth, and it has all the power on its own to change lives without any of our trickery or deception. All we need to do is to unleash the beauty of that truth into this world by the witness of our lives and watch what the Holy Spirit will do. As St. Paul says we are called to be gentle with one another, for we each have our own struggles. And we are called to share not only Christ but also our very selves in love and in relationship with one another because we are the very models of what a personal relationship with Christ looks like by the way we love one another.
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.
Do I believe Jesus desires a personal relationship with me? If I struggle with that, how can I come to know it more fully?
In what ways am I compelled to share the Gospel with others? How am I successfully doing so?
How can my sharing of the faith be grounded more in Truth and less in "tricks"?
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.
"Thank you for loving me."
"Thank you for entrusting your Gospel to me."
"Help me share your love."
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?
If there is someone in your life that you have been sharing the Gospel with, go out of your way today to share it again, in a fresh way. It could be through a text, phone call, or conversation. If you don't have someone you're sharing Jesus with, think of someone you know who you can share him with and do it!
Today's prayer was prepared by Maggie Overbeck, Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.
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.