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).
I believe that as we all grow up there are lies that living teaches us. Lies that turn into lessons that we hold fast to, even when we know that holding onto them isn’t the way to true happiness. One of the most deeply rooted of these lies that I see in my life, and in the lives of those around me is the lie that I am on my own; that if I don’t look out for myself, protect myself, then no one else will. Maybe most of us wouldn’t come right out and say that we believe this lie, but I think that if we take a look at how we live our lives we’d find it rings more true than we want to admit.
I know in my own life, this lie lesson has been a determining factor for much of how I choose to live. Whenever a trying situation would be thrown my way my walls would go up and I would live on the defensive, believing I needed to protect myself from the possible pain and hurt to come; because if I didn’t no one would.
But as I reflect on today’s first reading I am reminded that this lie, that has shaped so much of my life, is not the reality. For, as we’re told in Proverbs, “[God] is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” As I meditate over and again on this verse, I feel almost as if a weight is being lifted off my shoulders. We are not in this alone. We do have to put up our walls and live our lives on the defensive, always trying to avoid the next moment of suffering, because our God is our shield and all we have to do is to seek refuge in him.
And so my challenge to you today is to offer to the Lord whatever it is that you feel the need to be defensive against and let him fight that battle for you. Pray again through the first two verses of that first reading, and as you do imagine the Lord removing the burden of unnecessary self-preservation from your shoulders. For as Moses said to the Israelites as they were escaping from the Egypt, Pharaoh and his men on their heels: “The Lord will fight for you; you have only to keep still.” And then the parting of the Red Sea.
Surrender today your burdens to the Lord, for he is our refuge.
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.
What burdens are weighing me down today?
What lies have I been believing?
Where in your life is the Lord with you and fighting for you?
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 am not alone."
"God is my shield."
"I take refuge in God."
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?
During the month of September, we ask that each day, for the Action step of our lectio divina, everyone prays a Divine Mercy Chaplet together for the healing of all victims of clerical abuse of any kind as well as for the healing and guidance of our Church.
For more information on why we are doing this action step and a simple lock screen or how to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, click here.
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 Lauren Wright, a Youth Minister in Rockford, 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.
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