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).
Fear. It has a way of sneaking in and storming our peace. It robs us of the goodness of the present moment, even in the joy of this Christmas season. Christ wants to dwell in our hearts and reign there, but fear takes away our ability to open ourselves to the Lord. Just as fear blinded the disciples from all that the Lord was desiring to show them, it can hold us back as well.
In this way, I see myself in the disciples. I see the way that my own confusion, doubt, and fear can take the lead. This keeps me from trusting God and others. This keeps me from relying on the Lord and His plan for me. Out of fear, I turn away.
The disciples also closed themselves off in hardness of heart, unable to receive or understand. Jesus was working miracles in their midst, through both the calming of the storm and the feeding of thousands. And in the disciples’ confusion at what was taking place, fear stood in the way of them receiving these blessings from the Lord.
I am encouraged though. Fear doesn’t get to tell my story. Fear is cast out by love. And as Christians, we are able to run to the greatest love of all. Fear drives us away from Him, so let’s run to Him. Shelter in Jesus' arms. Rest in Him and share your doubts and worries, because He cares for you. Let Him respond to those fears, and give You His care, protection, and perspective.
When we feel fear or doubt start to take root, address it head on and present it to the Lord. Continue to share it with Him and open up a dialogue with the Lord in prayer. And in time we will continue to see how God is present to us, and truly is the Prince of Peace.
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 my greatest fears?
What are my fears holding me back from?
Where has the Lord brought peace in the midst of my fears? Where has the Lord calmed the storms in my 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.
"Do not be afraid."
"I am with 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?
Let the Lord calm your fears and storms today, and do not allow your heart to become hardened by fear or doubt.
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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 Emily Shimek.