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).
The willing is ready at hand, but the doing of good is not.
Hrmph, today's first reading gives me a bit of a punch in the heart. St. Paul and I are almost the same, you know, minus the evangelizing the world and writing most of the New Testament. We both want to be holy, we know what we have to do to be holy, and yet, we're doing the things we know we shouldn't be doing.
As I think about my "regular confession" ... and by that I mean the sins I confess on the regular, not monthly habit I can't seem to stick to ... I keep doing the things I know I don't want to do. The things I've told the Lord that I would stop doing.
I struggle with gossip a bit, not the vicious kind - more the "sharing this because it's news" kind. Neither is good. There's one friend I continuously fall into this habit with about a situation that's been going on with some other people for about two years. Every time we get together I fall into the habit of talking about how our other friend isn't responding to texts or how she's complaining that they're broke while putting in a new swimming pool. These are all facts, but that's not the point. They aren't things we need to be talking about without our other friend around. It's just plain gossip.
So the last time I saw her I told myself, "This is not who you are. It's not who God's calling you to be. It's not who you want to be." We hung out for about 4 hours, and I made it until the last 20 minutes before she brought up the situation. My reaction wasn't perfect, but it was better than it was the time before. I grew just a little bit.
I think this is what St. Paul is referring to. He knows he wants to show up as a Christian different than he is so he's writing it down. He's making a declaration about who He is in Christ and who He wants to be to all of us for all of time!
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.
Who do you want to be? How do you want to show up as a Christian in your life? Where can you grow?
What do you need to do to make a small change today on one of your 'regular sins'?
What kind of person do you want to be in 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, 50 years? Still confessing the same thing without any progress? Or growing deeper in holiness?
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 want to serve you Lord."
"I want to make the good decision."
"I want to love you deeper."
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?
Create a little mantra for yourself about who you want to be as a Christian. Two or three short sentences like in today's reflection about how you want to show up as a Christian around others. Write it down, put it up on your mirror, remind yourself of it by speaking it out loud and asking the Lord to keep you accountable.
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 Katie Herzing, a former youth minister turned parish evanglization consultant living in North Carolina.
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