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).
“Don’t be such a Martha.”
I have to tell you, I’ve heard that often in my life. And in fact, I’ve been the one who probably tells this to myself the most. I’m a classic over-thinker, a Type A personality, and I love control. When I cook meals I clean the dishes while I’m cooking, everything has to be placed in its proper place at the end of the day, and I always busy myself. Now, I wish I could say my motives are always as good as Martha’s, but it isn’t often because I’m busying myself with serving the Lord. But, regardless, I am constantly reminding myself to slow down and simply sit with the Lord.
So often we place serving God over being loved by God. I think there is a very important distinction and union between these two ideas, and we need to be a little bit of Martha and a little bit of Mary. I think the work ethic that we’ve been instilled with often confuses us when it comes to our relationship with the Lord. We become so convinced that God is someone who requires us to work in order to earn favor and love and that serving him is the ultimate mark of holiness. We become enamored by saintly people who have been absolute servant, giving their lives to the poor and to the Church, and we think that the only way we can be holy is through this huge gift of our lives as servants.
While our call as Christians is to love God and love others, which requires a gift of ourselves as servants, we cannot forget the words of St. John, “we love because he first loved us” (1 Jn 4:19). The only way we are able to serve others and serve God is if we are first centered in his love. We have to remember that God wants us to first sit in his love before going to serve him and others. This is why St. Theresa of Calcutta, the ultimate servant of our time, began her days first in hours of prayer.
God wants to love you more than he wants to use you. Don’t be afraid to be less of a Martha and more of a Mary today. Sit in his love and let that be the impetus for your service.
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.
How am I leaving time to sit with God and let myself be loved?
In what ways am I serving God and serving those around me?
How can I grow in my discipline to allow God to love me first, before I go out and serve?
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."
"All for you, Jesus."
"Teach me to serve."
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?
Take time today to simply sit with God and let him love you. If you can, find a way to spend time in Eucharistic Adoration, or simply in the presence of God as he dwells in the tabernacle at your Church. Sit with 1 John 4:19 and let God convict you that he first desires to love you before anything else.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Adam Smyth, the Life Teen Coordinator at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in the Woodlands, TX.
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