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).
A man after God’s own heart. Except when he makes some of the biggest mistakes in Scripture. Today we see the humanness of one of the greatest characters in the Old Testament. I used to find it weird when I read stories like this in the Bible, but I have started to realize how important it is.
Honestly, I am my own worst critic. I know my sins better than anyone else and oftentimes that can be pretty discouraging. While others may see me as a “man after God’s own heart," I often feel more like the man a slave to my own heart. And I know I am not alone. I know we all feel this way, when we mess up or let our hearts focus on something else. And then you read a story like this one today.
Maybe you are like David and are struggling with lust or selfishness. Maybe you are struggling with greed or envy. Maybe it is pride or laziness. It doesn’t really matter what your vice is, we all sin, we all fall short. No matter how much our heart is striving to follow God, we aren’t perfect. Today’s story tells us that is okay. Well, that imperfection is okay at least. See David’s sin lead to more sin and then to more sin, and this is the cycle we often get caught in as well. And it could have ruined David, just like it can ruin us. The more comfortable we get with sin, the more slippery that slope gets.
Sin is not the end of the story though, our mistakes are not the end. God is merciful and always gives us a chance for redemption. Eventually, David confessed his sin and was able to turn his heart back to God. We have to do this as well to break the cycle that sin creates. That is why Confession is such a great gift for us, the chance to safely and confidently separate ourselves from sin and turn our hearts back to God.
So next time you are struggling with falling short, don’t let the cycle of sin keep you down. Realize that brokenness and imperfection are natural and pick yourself up, turn your heart back to God, and keep striving for greatness.
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.
Are you your own worst critic when it comes to the spiritual life? Not believing what other believe say is true about you?
Do you get caught up in all the things you've done wrong, thinking that they're too much for God to forgive you? Or too big to change and fix?
When was the last time you went to confession? Do you make it a regular practice in your life?
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'm sorry Lord."
"I love you Lord."
"I'm turning back to you."
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 time today to examine your conscience. Where have you fallen short? Where have you done well? It's not enough to only examine the things we've done wrong and have contrition for them ... that's important. It's also important to recognize the things we've done well and praise the Lord with them.
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.
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