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).
We are all sinners. We all mess up, and it feels gross when we do something wrong. I usually feel heavy or frustrated when I sin. When I know I’ve done something wrong, I usually get angry with myself and take it out on others and run away from the One that I should be sprinting to: God.
When we sin, we hurt God and our relationship with Him, even if it feels like a “little” sin. It hurts our ability to love- ourselves, others, especially God- and our ability to receive love. But here’s the Good News: Jesus has taken away the sins of the world. Every last one of them was taken on and forgiven on the Cross when Jesus offered Himself to the Father so that we can re-enter into a relationship with God. With our sins out of the way, we can have perfect communion with God, the One that loves us the more than we could possible imagine.
Those things you did wrong that make you feel heavy, angry, upset in any way, are all forgiven when we come to Christ in the sacrament of Confession. When we tell the priest, who is the true presence of Christ in the sacrament, “Lord, forgive the wrong I have done,” or “Lord, forgive these and all of my sins,” Jesus truly washes away all guilt of sin. Your “fault is taken away” and Christ washes you clean. If you have the authentic desire for forgiveness and acknowledge your sins, then God will forgive all the wrong you have done. I don’t think that I ever feel lighter or more joyful than when I come out of Confession. All the things that bring me down are washed away, and I get to start anew with God. It can be intimidating and humbling to have to say all your sins, but nothing compares to the joy of the Lord.
Jesus not only forgives you, but gives you the strength to do better in the future. He gives you the grace to stop doing wrong and start choosing what is good. So if you are ever in distress and feel the temptation to sin, the Lord will preserve you if you ask and accept His help. Imagine freedom from sin. Imagine the freedom to be perfectly happy, to love and accept love fully, and to be filled with God’s grace.
Jesus does not want you to feel burdened by sin, He does not want to be apart from you. Pray with this Psalm and really ask God for forgiveness. Go to Him with a contrite and humble heart and soak in the joy of the Lord. If you desire God, He will come to you and give you all that you need.
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 do you feel when you realized you have sinned? How do you react?
How do those feelings compare to the feeling you have after receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
How does the Lord's forgiveness inspire you to do better? How has it led you to change your life or freed you from particular sins?
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.
"Lord, cleanse me of my sin."
"Lord, forgive the wrong I have done."
"Lord, help me to do better."
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?
Allow the Lord to wash away your sins by receiving the Sacrament of Confession. If you cannot go today, make plans to go this week, and pray to the Lord to help you do better, to choose what is right, and to free you from 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 Mary Griffin, a Senior Theology and Catechetics major at Franciscan University of Steubenville.
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