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).
The older I get, naturally, the things I find myself having to deal with on a daily basis get to be more and more stressful. I am no longer just looking out for myself, I also have a wife and a son that I have to love and care for as well. Believe me, it is very easy to allow all the different things of this world to pile up and weigh you down, and to a degree, this is what the devil wants. He wants us to be so busy and focused on so many things that we feel like we have no time for the Lord.
Lately, I have been experiencing a lot of anxiety, and I don't mean that I have been under some stress. I am talking about genuine anxiety, the crippling kind, the kind of anxiety that prevents you from doing anything, and because you are not doing anything you start neglecting things. For me, it starts small, like procrastinating a deadline or something of that nature, but that will inevitably lead to something else, and then to something else, and before you know it I am neglecting the people in my life and by that point I am definitely neglecting the Lord. This is where I have found myself the past several weeks, and the worst part about this is the feeling of hopelessness that accompanies my anxieties. Now, I am in no way downplaying the seriousness of needing to seek professional help to work through anxiety, that is what I am doing, but there is something to be said about allowing the things of this world guide my emotions, feelings, and overall wellbeing; when instead I need to be going to the Lord.
In today’s first reading Jeremiah was alluding to this, not so much anxiety, but that we must place our trust in the Lord and not the things of this world. This reading could not have come at a better time, because instead of taking all these feelings and perceived issues I am having to the Lord I kept them to myself. This allowed all of these things, some important and urgent, and others very unimportant to cloud my judgment and make me feel like I was all alone and unable to get out of the hole I had dug for myself. So, no matter what you may be feeling, today ask yourself, am I trusting in the Lord? I think that we all need to have a greater and deeper trust in God, and I think that for a lot of us who are letting the things of this world bring us down and blind us from what's really important we especially need to run to the Lord, because as today’s scripture says “Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose hope is the Lord.”
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.
Have you ever had times that you could have trusted in God more? Why didn't you trust Him more in those situations?
How could you have been less stressed/anxious if you would have trusted God more?
Who do you trust in more: yourself, others or God? Do your actions reflect 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.
"Jesus I trust in you."
"Come Holy Spirit."
"Here I am 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?
Make moves today to get through the stress and anxieties in your life. Start trusting God and letting Him lead you. And if you have real anxiety in your life, talk to a professional, because God gives us gifts like counseling every day to feel His love, mercy, and healing.
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 Jason Liuzzi, a middle school religion teacher at St. John the Evangelist School in St John, IN.
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