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 Lord God is my help. One of the biggest things I struggle with is self doubt. Often I find myself thinking I am not good enough. I am not holy enough. I don't pray enough. I am not a good speaker. I am not pretty enough. I'm not smart enough. I'm not fast enough. I'm not brave enough.
These thoughts are often followed by I can't thoughts. I can't lead others in faith. I can't be a good role model. I can't run a 5k. I can't pass a class. I can't share my faith with others. I'm going to go ahead and guess that I'm not the only one reading today’s reading that has these negative self-thoughts.
Today's passage from Isaiah strikes a nerve with me because it is so full of confidence and gratitude for the gifts from the Lord. Isaiah knows God has given him words to share the faith. He is so brave to keep sharing the Lord’s message even when is he mocked, persecuted, beaten up. He doesn't waver, because his help is from the Lord God.
I wonder how I can have the strength to be like Isaiah, to not have my self-doubt get in the way. But the reality is it is not something I can do without the Lord. We can't do things on our own. And God doesn't ask us to. God wants to walk with us through the good times and the bad. He wants us to go to Him for help, for strength, for courage. All good things come from the Lord. And our help comes from the Lord God.
But sometimes it is easy to forget that God is there for our help. We have the need to do it on our own, but the truth is we need Him. Isaiah could not have done it on his own he needed the strength that God provided.
In our suffering, it is easy to overlook the fact that Jesus also knows suffering. He knew what it was like to have a friend die and mourn Him. He knew what it was like to be called a liar and persecuted for the truth. There is nothing you are experiencing that Jesus also doesn't know. So as we prepare for the Tridium, unite your fears, anxieties, doubts and sufferings with the Lord, because the Lord God is your help.
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.
Where do I struggle the most? What fears, doubts or anxieties overwhelm me? How can I give these to the Lord?
Where in my life do I need to ask God for help today?
How can I learn to unite my sufferings with Christ?
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.
"The Lord GOD is my help."
"Lord, I need you."
"Jesus, I trust in you."
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?
Today, each time you are faced with fear or suffering, ask God to be with you and for help.
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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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