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).
Today is the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, who are archangels! And in one of the first reading options from the Book of Revelation, we hear of an epic battle in heaven and St. Michael's role in it.
Let's break it down...
God created lots and lots of angels. They are pure spirit, and as created beings go, they are far superior to us. They have intellects, like us. But unlike us, their intellects are not darkened by original sin. And because they're pure spirit, they aren't bound by space and time like we are. They, like us, were all created to love and serve God. But, also like us, many did not want to... and that's where today's reading begins.
"War broke out in heaven." On one side you have St. Michael. He's on the front lines like God's great General, leading all the other angels who are faithful to the Lord. On the other side you have Satan ("the dragon"), who is himself an angel, and he is leading all the angels who are rebelling against God.
Take a moment and think of what this must've looked like. Almost every time someone encounters an angel in the Bible, the first words out of the angel's mouth are "Do not be afraid." That's because they are vastly superior to us and terrifying to behold! Imagine these superior beings duking it out in heaven, unleashing the full force of all their power on one another. If we could've seen it, I wonder if it would've looked like the universe itself was being torn at its seams.
But despite Satan's best efforts, "they did not prevail."
Then we read probably one of the saddest lines in Scripture, "and there was no longer any place for them in heaven." They are "thrown down to earth." Cast out of heaven forever. And since then, the devil and his fallen angels have continued to rebel against the Lord. They attack us and lure us into sin, not because they care about us and want us on their side, but because they hate God and want to destroy His creation.
Nevertheless, heaven erupts into an unfathomable celebration! All are singing the praises of the Lord and His power. And here we come to some of the most beautiful words in Scripture:
"For the accuser of our brothers is cast out,
who accuses them before our God day and night.
They conquered him by the Blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
love for life did not deter them from death.
Therefore, rejoice, you heavens,
and you who dwell in them.”
And here's what I'll leave you with: the accuser has been cast out! He has been conquered by the Blood of the Lamb, Christ's sacrifice on the cross! The testimony of those who have gone before us has transmitted the gift of divine life to us. And so we no longer fear even death itself.
The Lord has conquered Satan and his angels. He has defeated sin and death. No matter how much sin deceives you, discourages you, depletes you... rejoice! The Lord is victorious in heaven, on earth, and in your heart.
Let Him in if you want the victory.
St. Michael the Archangel, pray for us!
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.
Do you ever feel discouraged by your faults and sins? Are you tempted to give up, thinking that the devil's temptations are just to strong for you? Talk to the Lord about this. Discouragement is always from the devil. Ask the Lord for hope and peace.
Do you ever think of your struggle for holiness as a spiritual battle? Talk to the Lord about the particular battle that is going on for your heart. Where do you most need the Lord's victory?
Take some time to imagine today's reading. Imagine the angels fighting, the great victory, the celebration in heaven. Immerse yourself in the events as if you were transported there yourself. Then talk to God about what you see, feel and experience.
The accuser is cast out. Do you believe that? Do you live it? Ask the Lord for faith in His victory.
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.
"God, You are victorious."
"Lord, protect me."
"St. Michael, pray for me."
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 Lord bear fruit in you today?
Try to view your struggle against sin and temptation today as a spiritual battle. Imagine the spiritual reality happening all around you and within you. Then from that, pray for St. Michael's intercession every time you are tempted to sin today.
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 Dan Wolff, High School Youth Minister at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.