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).
Freedom is such an amazing word, but one that is so often misused and misunderstood. We like to look at freedom as the ability to do anything, and while that is somewhat true, we then are enslaved to the consequences of our choices. The only freedom that continues to create more freedom is love. True authentic love is the only choice that keeps us continually free. We cannot love without the freedom not to love, therefore, for love to be authentic and true, it requires and creates true freedom.
This is easier said than done though. I have yet to meet someone who loves perfectly all the time. Often times we choose to indulge in ourselves rather than love. When St. Paul talks about the flesh, he is not says that our physical bodies are bad and only our spirit is good. Rather he is talking about things such as lust, pride, drunkenness, laziness, etc. Paul is talking about sin and selfishness. When seek to fulfill desires that are not pure love (even if they are called "love"), then we are not using our freedom as God intended and are therefore hurting ourselves in one way or another. Love wills the good of the beloved, for the sake of the beloved. We call a lot of things love these days that simply aren't love: lust, jealousy, infatuation, attraction, respect, passion. And while love can have some elements of those at times, ultimately love isn't a feeling. Love is a choice. Love chooses what is best for the other person, not necessarily for me.
Freedom is a great gift, but also a great responsibility. We are not perfect, and that is okay. However, we do get a new chance to use our freedom to love or not in every moment. Everyday let's try to make one more moment a choice of true authentic love. Let's not waste this gift of freedom on sin anymore, but rather let's choose 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 are some ways you have used your freedom to love?
What are some ways you have used your freedom to sin?
How can you use your freedom to love more today?
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.
"Thank You Jesus."
"Come Holy Spirit."
"I Love You Lord."
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?
At the end of the day today, reflect on the times you chose anything other that love. In that reflection, find ways you could have chosen love instead, and try to implement that slowly 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 Sean Norris, a theology teacher at JSerra Catholic High School in Orange County, CA.
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.