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).
Years ago, I was traveling with co-workers across the U.S., sleeping in our bunk beds on a moving bus, when all of a sudden, Tom, the bus driver, starting yelling at the top of his lungs. It was the middle of the night. What was he yelling? FIRE! FIRE! Get off the bus now! So we all scrambled off and made it safely to the roadside, as we watched Tom extinguish the engine fire in the rear of the bus.
What came next was shocking to me...we were filled with complaints! We were thinking: we are now sleep deprived, the bus was now broken, I better get extra pay for this, our boss should have bought a better bus, etc. We were filled with complaints when we should have been thankful we were alive!
In today’s 1st reading, we are told that the traveling Israelites were also complaining to Moses in the desert, especially in regards to the food and water supply, “Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert, where there is no food or water? We are disgusted with this wretched food!”
Why do we complain? Quite simply, we are so often spoiled, self-centered, and lacking gratitude.
My dear friends, every day is an opportunity to give thanks instead of complaining. Thanks such as the fact that we are breathing well, while some people are in the hospital on ventilators as we speak; thanks for the nourishment we do have when some people only eat a scoop of rice a day; thanks for each other when some people are often left alone; and most importantly thanks for Jesus, for he has saved us from our sins and promises us life forever!
What are you complaining about lately? Turn to the Lord and be grateful!
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 have I been complaining about lately?
What are the good things in my life that God is spoiling me with right now?
How have I taken the good blessings in my life and rejected them by not being thankful?
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.
"Help me be thankful."
"Every good gift comes from you."
"Thank you, Lord."
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?
In this difficult time, we will use our Action step each day to join with people around the world in praying for an end to the pandemic of the Coronavirus, for the healing of all those affected, and for the comfort of all those who have lost a loved one. The prayer below is from Archbishop José H. Gomez, President of the USCCB in his reflection and prayer:
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe,
Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas.
We fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son,
as you did at the wedding in Cana.
Pray for us, loving Mother,
and gain for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.
We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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"Today's prayer was prepared by Fr. John McNamara, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.
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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