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).
Today is the memorial of St. Maximilian Kolbe. In case you don’t know who that is, St. Maximilian Kolbe was a priest in Poland during WWII. After being captured and sent to Auschwitz concentration camp, Kolbe sacrificed his own life for a man who was begging not to be put in the starvation chamber because he had a family. While in the chamber, Fr. Kolbe prayed and stayed calm. After 2 weeks of starvation and dehydration, the guards gave Fr. Kolbe a lethal injection that took his life.
I wanted to share a little bit of St. Maximilian Kolbe’s story because the first reading from Deuteronomy fits so well with his life. He loved and served the Lord with all his heart. So much of his story focuses on his sacrifice at Auschwitz, but St. Maximilian Kolbe was serving and loving God long before that moment.
At the age of 12, Kolbe received a vision of the Blessed Mother, which began his strong love a devotion to her. In the vision, Mary offered him two crowns: a white and a red one. The white crown represented preserving purity and the red stood for martyrdom. When asked if he would accept either crown, Kolbe said he wanted both.
Throughout his life, St. Maximilian Kolbe encouraged people to develop a stronger relationship with Mary. Because he had such a deep love and relationship with the Blessed Mother, Kolbe was able to draw ever closer and have a special relation with Jesus.
When I first heard about St. Maximilian Kolbe’s life, my initial thought was “That’s a really incredible priest! But there’s no way that I could be that brave or have that deep of a relationship with Mary and Jesus.” When looking at the lives of the saints it is really easy to see why they are saints: they did incredible things! But the reality of their lives is that they truly took this first reading to heart. They choose each day to love and serve God with all their hearts.
We should each strive to be a saint. It is not an easy path, but it is one that will lead us closer to God. The key component to remember is that becoming a saint takes time. Just as we can’t run before we know how to walk, we can’t become a saint unless we have a relationship with God. To do that, we must choose each and every day to love and serve God with all our hearts and souls.
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.
When you read the first reading today, what virtues stood out to you? Which ones can you try to live out today?
How did St. Maxmilian Kolbe give the Lord his whole heart? How can you give your heart to the Lord?
God has a mission for you, just as He did for St. Maxmilian Kolbe and Moses and the people of Israel. How can you embrace your mission?
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.
"With all my heart."
"I choose you Lord."
"The Lord is my God."
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?
Spend some time today reading about the life of St. Maximilian Kolbe, and then go back to the first reading. How did he live out those virtues? How can you live out those virtues?
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 Kayla Essner, a high school Math teacher in Cape Girardeau, MO.