Step #1: Lectio / Read
Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another,
that you may not be judged.
Behold, the Judge is standing before the gates.
Take as an example of hardship and patience, brothers and sisters,
the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
Indeed we call blessed those who have persevered.
You have heard of the perseverance of Job,
and you have seen the purpose of the Lord,
because the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
But above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear,
either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath,
but let your “Yes” mean “Yes” and your “No” mean “No,”
that you may not incur condemnation.
Step #2: Meditatio / meditate
Here I was running my first cross-country race. I was sprinter who had never ran more than a mile when I decided to join the cross-country team—in college. Very quickly I started to realize a 6K race was a lot different than 100 meters. The thought of all the hills and turns and miles ahead of me overwhelmed me. I wanted to stop. How was I ever going to make it to the finish line? It seemed impossible. The only thing I could do was think about the next step. Then the next. Then the next. Just one after the other. Ignoring the two miles I had left, I focused on the steps at hand and kept going. Steadily, albeit slowly, I made it to the end of the race.
Flash forward a few years and two (slow) marathons later, I realize my time on that collegiate running team taught me a lot about life, especially perseverance. It taught me not to complain, or get anxious about the struggle I knew was ahead, but to simply keep going. Perseverance is a virtue we can hone in our daily lives, if only we simply think of the task at hand and ask for grace and courage in the present moment.
But, don’t think that perseverance is just about willpower. It’s also about standing back up when we fall. When children are learning to walk, they are not surprised if they fall, St. Thérèse says. They eagerly stand right up try again. “Rather in the spirit of humbleness, you should be surprised if you do not fall. If you are surprised or discouraged because of the falls, that means in you trusted in your own strength” instead of the Lord’s, she tells us.
So take the next step. Think only of the task at hand. Stand back up after you fall. You might just look back and realize how truly far you’ve come.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
"Indeed we call blessed those who have persevered."
Lord, what areas of my life do I need to work on persevering in?
What fears distract me from staying in the present moment?
How can I better pick myself up next time I fall?
Step #4: Contemplatio / contemplate
I trust in the Lord's strength, not my own.
One foot in front of the other.
Think only of the task at hand.
For the Rest of Your Day...
Pray for grace and courage for each present moment.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Andrea Scott
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