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).
Have you ever doubted that you have what it takes to be a witness of Christ? Ever second guessed if you’re worthy to defend your Catholic faith?
Sometimes when these doubts creep into my life, I remember one of the most radical stories in the New Testament: the conversion story of St Paul. If God could use someone like St Paul, who spent most of his time before converting persecuting believers of Christ, then you better believe he can use YOU in your lows and weaknesses to proclaim His Kingdom!
If we take our time and slowly read today’s first reading, we can insert ourselves into Paul’s shoes. Yes, we may not be living such an intense lifestyle, literally putting Christians to death, but we can be exhorted to ask ourselves: have I been persecuting those around me by my judgements, my speech, my negative attitude? Am I spreading authentic love and compassion to others in my life, or am I ignoring or bringing them down?
Paul most likely really believed that what he was doing with his life was right and just; do I justify my actions or behaviors without being receptive to see how I could be hurting those in my own life?
This necessary examination of conscious allows us to remove the “scales” from our eyes that blind us to reality, and instead see clearly how we can make changes for His glory. The Lord knows us so well that only He knows the most effective ways to get our attention so He can speak to us of His plans. I know for myself, I am receptive to God’s plans via people in my life offering advice or counsel that somehow is linear with what I have been praying about in private.
Paul’s actions were radical and intense, and the Lord needed to send a flash of blinding light and knock him off of his high horse (literally), in order to get his attention. That may not be the way the Lord speaks clearly to you, but today’s feast is the reminder to us that He will get our attention in a personal way and, if we are receptive, it will lead to our vision becoming clear on His Light. We can all be used as God’s instruments in spreading His Good News and we can encourage others, no matter what we have done in our past that may have been contradictory to the Christian way.
St. Paul is this reminder to us of hope in our lives with Christ moving forward from our former ways of life. When the Lord shares plans with you, He will get your attention in a unique way. Whether it be in a tiny chapel or it be knocking you off your high horse, we can trust His call will be timely and life changing.
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.
Have you ever doubted that you have what it takes to be a witness of Christ? If so why do you think you've doubted that and how can you allow God to show you the truth?
In your life, have you ever persecuted or torn down others by your words or judgments?
When is the last time you paused and asked God to speak his plan into your life? No matter how long it has been, take some time to invite him to speak uniquely to you today.
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.
"Come, Holy Spirit."
"Jesus, speak to me."
"I am your servant, 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?
Take some time to journal today (even if it's new!). Whether you write a long reflection or a short one, reflect on the plans God has for your life and where he is leading you today in light of St. Paul's conversion to be one of the great evangelists and saints the Church has ever known.
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 Katy Praetzel, a worship leader in Pittsburgh, PA.
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.