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).
It is quite amazing how much our hearts can be hardened to the little miracles God wants to show us in our daily life.
The rich man in today’s Gospel was so obsessed with his wealth and status that he denied love and mercy to the poor man, Lazarus. How unfortunate it is that things we care about so deeply in this world can blind us to who God truly wants us to be. The rich man was tormented in the afterlife because of this, and Lazarus was being cared for in the bosom of Abraham for his suffering on earth. In the end, Abraham said if they wouldn’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they wouldn’t even listen to someone who would rise from the dead.
How can we apply this story to our lives today?
Sometimes, I let my daily struggles get in the way. I’ll let little annoyances with my roommates build up. I’ll get angry about dishes in the sink, and I'll wish my roommates would clean up their things. Instead of letting it go or talking about it, I’ll let my resentment build.
It’s really easy for me to let anger and resentment fill up my heart like a bottle of pop that’s just been shaken with the lid on. In any moment, I am ready to explode. I am like the man who let his riches get to his head; I don’t extend mercy and love to those people who annoy me and, in turn, I become hardened to love.
In these moments, we need to try our best to extend love and mercy to others.
Do we let sin, anger, hurt, and grudges cloud our vision to the way God loves us, and in turn, end up hurting those around us? When was the last time you went to the Sacrament of Reconciliation to replace your hardened heart with a soft, beating one?
I challenge you today to let God soften your heart. Attend the Sacrament of Confession and ask God for the ability to take things as they come in life, and to open your eyes to the many blessings that the Lord has given you this day.
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 have you found yourself letting grudges cloud your vision of how God loves you?
In times when you are struggling with sin, anger, hurt, etc., how do you see that affect your relationships with others? How can you work on how you treat others?
What does it mean to you that God wants to soften your heart? What are the areas of your life He might want to soften? When can you get to Confession to let that work happen?
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.
"Soften my heart."
"Teach me to love."
"Show me 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?
Get to the Sacrament of Reconciliation as soon as you can. If it's today, great. If not, look on your parish website or in the bulletin to figure out the next time that you can and make a plan to get there.
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 Sarah Lundgren, a student at the University of Dayton studying Religious Studies.