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).
Am I living in the light or in the shadows? Our Gospel this Sunday talks about how Jesus is the light that came into the world, “but people preferred darkness to light.” (John 3:19)
Is that true in my life as well? Do I prefer to hide in the darkness of my sin so that Jesus doesn’t have to see it?
I am a sinner, after all, and I am not proud of everything I have done. I don’t always want God to know what I’ve done, so I try to keep it locked away in the dark depths of my heart. But is it practical to keep something from God? The reality is that God knows everything about me, even those dark places I like to pretend aren’t there. So why do I try to “hide” these things from God?
As the Gospel says, when we do “wicked deeds” we tend to avoid the Light of Christ because we are ashamed of our sins. But God does not want us to keep our sins in the darkness of our hearts, but give them to Him! We shouldn’t go around telling everyone our deepest, darkest sins; instead first bring them before our Lord and let Him shed light on them.
This season of Lent is the perfect time to go to prayer with the Lord and investigate those parts of our heart we like to keep hidden so no one can see. Sometimes, I think that if I bring my sins before the Lord He will love me less; but this is a lie straight from the Evil one. As we journey through Lent, be sure to make time to go to Reconciliation and shed radiant light into those parts of your life.
If there is a particular habitual sin or one sin that keeps coming up, pray for a person that can hold you accountable. I had a sin that for the longest time only me, God, and the priests I went to confession with knew, but it was starting to really weigh on my heart to the point that I needed to shed even more light on it by having an accountability partner. After a lot of prayer, I sat and talked with one of my close friends (of the same gender) and expressed to her my struggles.
The amazing thing is that she not only did she not judge me, but was also struggling with something similar. We were able to bring this sin into the Light of Christ and it was no longer as scary because we were seeing it in the truth of the Light.
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 things in your life that have remained in darkness which need to be brought to light? Have you confessed these sins? How else is God asking you to let Him into those things?
Do you sometimes find yourself tempted to keep things in the dark from God? Why do you think this is? How can you make a habit of inviting Him into those situations?
Is there something in your life that you need support, prayers, and encouragement from another person? Do you have a friend of the same gender who you can talk to about that?
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.
"You are my light."
"You bring life."
"You give me freedom."
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?
Schedule a day this week when you will add in some sort of additional fast. If your health allows it, maybe choose one day this week and fast as we do on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday; maybe instead of that you can fast from coffee, from meat, from sweets, or from something else. Whatever it is, offer a physical fast this week for the strength to let God's light into the places of your sin and for the support of people around you to help you fight those things in your life.
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 Kayla Essner, a high school Math teacher in Denver, CO.
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