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).
Look around you.
If you’re in your room, look at everything you own. Everything says something about you, and even a lack of things has something to say. Not that you’re defined by what you have and don’t have, but what (and who) we choose to have in our lives all add up to make a statement about who we are. Our actions and possessions speak about our priorities, our priorities speak about what we love, and as St. Thomas Aquinas said, “what we love tells us what we are.”
So, what do you love?
Don’t worry, I’m well aware that’s pretty vague. But look at it in context of today’s first reading: basically, everything you do boils down to a love of something. You get up in the morning because a love for something inspires you to go do something with your day (even if it’s just a respectful love for the authority that says you have to). You brush your teeth because you love yourself enough to keep your body healthy. You aim to do well because you love yourself and want to give yourself a good future, because you love your parents and want to make them proud, because you love a teacher or friend and want to make them proud, and/or maybe out of sheer love for the thing you’re doing. Regardless, literally everything in the world boils down to a love for something. So, think about all the little things you do. Why do you show up to school when you do? Why do you spend your time doing what you do? Why do you surround yourself with the people you do?
Saint Paul’s point here is that we should never forget the key reason, the ultimate love we should hold above all other loves: the love we have for God should drive everything we do. Even doing the things you love can be done out of love for God as well, because He gave you those desires in the first place and wants you to use your talents. Even simple things like opening doors, walking through the halls, parking your car, etc. can all be done out of love for God, specifically by doing those things with the humility, gentleness, patience, and love Paul talks about.
The best part is, God does this too. Literally everything God does for you in your day comes from His love for you. Everything has meaning, from the people you pass to the leaves falling from the trees to the sun shining down on the Earth. It all happens because God loves you, and He’s saying it with every single moment of the day.
Therefore, my challenge for you is this: can you aim to do the same thing back to Him?
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.
Reflect on what your possessions, hobbies, passions and priorities say about what you love. Talk to God about how these things fit into His plan for you.
Why do you do the things you do every day? What motivates you? Further, how does your love for our Lord motivate you?
Pray for the grace to do all things out of love for the Lord. How might that change the way you go about your day?
Spend a little time letting God tell you how much He loves you by looking at all the gifts and blessings He has given you and all that He's been doing 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.
"Live with all humility, gentleness and patience."
"What I love tells me what I am.”
"God, let me love you with my life."
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 Lord bear fruit in you today?
What's one thing you can start doing specifically out of love for God? How might that change the way you do that thing? Resolve to make that change today.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Tatiana Schaffer, a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne studying Engineering and Psychology.