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).
"Blessed the man who fears the Lord."
As a small child, I was utterly afraid of flushing the toilet. I know, I know, it is absolutely ridiculous, but as a little kid, I was completely convinced that if I flushed the toilet, particularly at night, a monster was going to come flying out at me and suck me down into the toilet. While disgusting and crazy and completely impossible, this fear seemed so real to me as a child.
We all have had our crazy, out-there fears, and yet as we grow older, our fears typically turn towards more serious and real topics: the fear of not getting into our dream school, the fear of not making our sports team, or the fear of not being able to provide for our family.
I think deep down, most of us probably associate fear with shame, embarrassment, and dismay. So when we read today's psalm, it can cause us to wonder how fear of the Lord can be a good thing, let alone something that causes us to blessed.
I challenge you, for a minute, to put aside all the typical notions of fear that you have, because the Lord does not want us to fear him from a place of shame or guilt. The Holy Spirit guides us to a fear of the Lord that comes from a place of humility. When we truly encounter the Lord, we never want to go another day living without Him. The life that the Lord offers us is so much greater that we ought to fear ever losing it. In the Lord's presence, we tremble with fear not because we are scared for our lives, but for the first time, we are truly becoming alive. Fear of the Lord is a beautiful thing because it reminds us of the infinite beauty and goodness of the Lord, which we never want to live again without.
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 some things (serious or trivial) that I am afraid of?
How is fear of the Lord a good and even blessed thing?
How do I experience fear of the Lord in my life and how do I feel blessed because of it?
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.
"Fear of the Lord."
"God is greater."
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?
Reflect in awe of the Lord's beauty and goodness, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to a deeper fear of the Lord.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Maggie Overbeck, Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.
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