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).
It’s now five days into Lent. How are you doing? Sticking to your Lenten offerings?
It’s only been five days. If it’s been hard, you’re not alone. And if you think you can’t face the temptation, think again.
Jesus was tempted in the desert for 40 days. By the devil himself. He faced every single temptation that humanity would ever face. And he said no.
We are not divine though -- we are human, and bound to fall. It actually was a speaker in a Mormon Church event I once visited who once gave the most practical advice I’ve ever heard about fighting temptation, which could be useful in the temptation to say to pornography or masturbation, or simply temptation to say no to a cupcake or to breaking your Lenten sacrifices. We often can get caught up in the idea and big picture of, “I’m never going to be able to do this again.” “Never watching pornography again? I can’t do that, I might as well just fall now.” It’s an easy mindset we all have fallen into at some point. “I’m going to sin again tomorrow, so it’s OK to sin today.”
Instead of thinking of an indefinite “forever,” which can overwhelm our minds and doesn’t give us much control over the present, it’s far easier to face temptation when you think about today, this expert said. “For today, I am going to say no to this temptation. I can say yes tomorrow, but for today, I am going to say no.”
Try it next time you want to break your Lenten fast. Next time you are tempted to sin. Next time you are tempted by the devil while you are in a vulnerable place. You have the power to change your mind every single day. But today you are strong. And today you are going to say no.
It doesn’t mean you won’t fail once or twice during Lent. And when you do, you shouldn’t be surprised. As a child who is learning how to walk, you will fall. The important part is that you get back up, ask for forgiveness, and keep striving for sanctity. But today you will tell the devil no. And by every grace and power in Christ, you will have the strength to say no, again and again.
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.
How is your Lent going so far? How have you been doing with the promises you've made?
What are the temptations you're facing today where you can use the grace to so no today?
In which areas of your life do you need the mercy and forgiveness of God?
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 enough today.”
“You faced temptation and won.”
“You overcome all evil.”
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?
Take advantage of the Sabbath today to rest, to be rejuvenated, and to receive strength for the rest of this Lent that is still just beginning. If you've fallen in your promises, use the Lord's Day to pick yourself up; if you've been doing well, entrust your promises to him at Mass. If you're in a place of struggle with sin, make plans on your calendar this week to get to confession and let His grace free you of that sin.
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 Andrea Scott, a writer and editor based in Washington, D.C.
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