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).
Imagine yourself conversing with one of your very good friends. Your conversation is getting a little deeper than the usual things you usually talk about; you are getting into the topic of relationship, and in particular your recent experience of grace and a new found relationship with God through Eucharistic communion and adoration. Then, suddenly, your friend utters the phrase, “I’m spiritual, but not religious,” and then continues to say that religion is really a hindrance to inner self fulfillment and spiritual accomplishment because it’s all about one’s self motivation and positive thinking that leads one to inner peace.
It all sounds good, doesn’t it? But does it make any sense at all? Where did your friend get all these words?
In his recent speech delivered in Poland in honor of his 90th birthday, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI again reminded us of the danger of radical atheism. This ideology, closely connected with secular relativism, leads to individual authority that may not recognize the revelation of God in Jesus Christ at all. It sounds appealing to us because it all sounds good and gives every individual the authority to interpret what is their truth.
“Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.”
These words of Jesus lead us to a reality that spirituality is not just me thinking positive or good thoughts, but is more than that. Spirituality is not mere self motivation to achieve self-fulfillment; at its very core, spirituality is relationship. True spirituality means listening to someone greater than myself, someone who desires greater things for me than I can ever think of for myself and is capable of fulfilling me because this someone is the very Author of my very being. Much like listening to your friend in conversation, listening to God in prayer develops a relationship not just of a lifetime, but for eternity. Listening to God in prayer leads us to Jesus, the Bread of Life, the One who can let us live forever. This is true because it came from the very mouth of the Author of life.
In prayer, listen to the Father who speaks through His Son. Open the your Bible, read a verse or two, and let the Father speak to you through the words of the Gospel, that He may lead you to the Truth, our Lord Jesus Christ.
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.
When you think of spirituality, what do you think of? What defines a positive spiritual life for you?
What does it mean to listen to the Father? How in your life have you come to know God the Father and let Him speak to your heart? What is it that He says to you when you listen?
How has the Truth been shown to you in the past? How have you let yourself fall into the trap of defining the truth yourself instead of listening to God? What are practical ways you can come to understand and to love the Truth more and more?
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 trust in You."
"You are the Truth."
"I long for a relationship with You."
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?
Reflect on some of the ways that you have tried to define your own truth instead of listening to the Truth of the faith and the Truth of God. Turn to Him today, choosing a Truth He has tried to teach you and working to let that dictate how you act, whatever that looks like.
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 Fr. Ervin Caliente, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.