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).
The devil who we see in today’s readings is almost the stereotypical devil that we usually picture. He is obvious, direct, and tempting. He is so tempting.
"You certainly will not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is evil."
"If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread."
The devil in these readings couldn’t be more clear.
We’ve taught ourselves to be on guard for the devil when it is obvious that it is the devil. You know the one: the little red cartoon that sits on your shoulder and tells you to do something that you know is wrong. If you know yourself and your faults well, you probably know what tempts you and leads you to sin. Maybe it’s a trashy magazine article; maybe it is certain crude Snap Chat stories. You might fall to these traps set by the devil, but hopefully you have learned to have your guard up around them. You know what the devil is trying to trick you with, and you are strong enough to stand up to those temptations (or, if you fall, you know how to make yourself stronger: confession, Mary, the St. Michael prayer, etc.).
But, this isn't the only way that the devil works. I know a wise woman who likes to say that “the devil doesn’t need to tempt us, he just needs to make us busy.”
Our busyness is the sneaky way we have let the devil into our lives. In today's world, whenever you ask anyone how they are, their answer is usually the same: busy. Busyness has consumed our lives. In fact, we wear how busy we are like it is a badge of honor. It is as if the busier you are, the more esteemed you are in the eyes of others. But, this busyness that we so often are proud of is actually affecting the area of life that is most important: our relationship with God. And, when we let our busyness interfere with our faith, we’re letting the devil in.
What are you too busy for?
Are you too busy to pray every day? Are you too busy to go to Mass on Sundays? Are you too busy to go on a retreat? Are you too busy to attend your youth group?
I have heard busyness as an excuse in all of these situations (and I have used it myself for some). We need to stop the cycle of busyness.
What busyness can you cut out of your life to focus more on God?
The devil doesn’t need to tempt us, he just needs to make us busy.
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 are you too busy for? What are the things in your life that God is calling you to that you use busyness as an excuse for?
What can you cut out of your life that is making you busy but is not productive?
How is God asking you to re-focus your heart and mind this Lent not just on avoiding obvious temptations, but on truly encountering Him?
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 choose You.
You are first.
Help me resist temptation.
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?
Get rid of something in your life today that is making you busy but is not productive and you can actually get rid of. Try to unclutter the busyness of your life, and then use that time to encounter God more deeply in prayer.
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 Lisa Kendzior, Junior High Youth Minister at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.
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