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).
Don’t be afraid to think bigger.
Through the years I have dragged myself to Church countless Saturdays because I knew I needed to go to confession. My sins were consistent and heavy. I didn’t even want to say them because I was embarrassed that I didn’t have everything under control. I’d leave the box, feeling a little better but ultimately still feeling frustrated that I wasn’t perfect. The eyes of my heart were focused on my weakness.
St. Paul is giving us permission to think about heavenly things, and let the earthly things go. He is saying that we will find a lot more life if we ‘put on the new self’. It’s so hard to turn the eyes of our heart above to the Lord when there seems so much down here on earth that is so heavy.
I’ve been a priest for a few months, and there has been incredible development of my understanding of confession from sitting on the other side of the box. Like I said, as someone going to confession, I struggled shaking my gaze from my brokenness. As a priest though, I can’t seem to shake the beauty that is His Love for every dear soul who comes to confession. Sure, the sins being confessed are similar to the same ones I’ve dragged to confession, and still bring to confession now, but they are nothing compared to the Father’s healing love. The earthly brokenness is wiped away as the words flow forth; God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
The mundane heaviness of earthly sin is wiped away by the sweet words of God’s Love. Even the act of the priest saying the words seems almost too simple, but far beyond our understanding those words are bringing something heavenly into our soul. Healing Love. Today is a perfect day to practice turning your thoughts to what is above, or rather Who is above. It doesn’t have to be complicated; call His name, tell Him of your burdens, and trust that all that grounds us will soon be made new in His Love.
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 has been weighing heavily on my heart?
What burdens have I been carrying?
How will I focus more on what is above, particularly Who is above?
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 absolve you of your sins."
"You are forgiven."
"Look to what is above."
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 on and pray with the words of absolution that you hear every time you go to Confession:
"God, the Father of mercies,
through the death and resurrection of his Son
has reconciled the world to himself
and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins;
through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace,
and I absolve you from your sins
in the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit."
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 Fr. Robert Blood, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.