The lights are on… but often times, it seems like nobody’s home.
God is always speaking to us, not only through His Word, but also through events, our circumstances and even through each other. Wilfred Stinissen writes, “There is not a single moment when God is not communicating Himself to us.” Although God is always speaking to me, often times I am not always listening. This is why I have found it so beneficial to take time to do just that.
I have the privilege of being a part of a group that meets together to discuss the upcoming Sunday’s Gospel readings. Even though God is speaking to us all the time, in all ways, this is a moment that we have deliberately chosen to sit down together and let the Light from above come and speak to us through His Word and each other. This practice is called Lectio Divina and it is the ancient way of reading Scripture and having God speak to us through it. ( If you want to find out more go to this link from the USCCB http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/catechesis/catechetical-sunday/word-of-god/upload/lectio-divina.pdf)
If you have never done it before, each month in the Magnificat a particular scripture is highlighted. For the month of February, it is on page 113-115. On these pages, several insights are shown from one particular reading.
We follow a simple formula in our group. Anybody could do it. [And if you have not decided how to draw closer to Christ for Lent, although there are plenty of ways you can do it, this may be something you might want to consider. After all, we’re called not only to fast from something, but to add something positive to our time in Lent as well.]
When we gather, what do we do and how do we do it?
We have coffee ( very important! :)
We pray that our hearts will be enlightened by the reading of the Sacred Word.
One person reads aloud the upcoming Sunday’s Gospel.
We then sit in silence for about one minute to let it soak in and to see what God may be speaking to us through it.
Finally, we share our inspirations from the Holy Spirit for about thirty minutes.
After the usually very fruitful discussion, we all decide on a “take away” from that reading that we will work on until we meet again. This take-away could be anything from deciding to make a more concerted effort to show love to the most difficult person we know, to being more prayerful or more positive in spite of circumstances. Each Gospel reading has its own message to share and each person always has something very meaningful to offer. We end by taking prayer intentions and we close in prayer.
Not long ago the Gospel that we read gave us this beautiful fruit:
"How obsessed are we with doing what God asks of us?" John the Baptist was to prepare the way of the Lord, to not have his eyes on himself.
The question arose:
How can we do all that we are called to do in our own busy daily lives, which are so full of responsibility even to the point of being overwhelming, and still keep our eyes on what God asks of us?
One of the members of our group pointed out from the Gospel reading that John the Baptist continued to simply and constantly ask himself three questions:
"What is my mission?''
"What is essential?"
"What is unessential?"
Therefore, our resolution was this:
In our various roles, occupations and relationships as spouses, parents, friends, and workers, we will ask ourselves by God’s grace to show us the answer to these questions: "What is my mission? What is essential? What is not essential?"
And then ask for the ability to carry this out.
This is my question not only for myself, but also for you:
What is your mission? What is God asking of you? What is essential in that mission? What is not? Perhaps you may feel you don’t even have a mission! Pray that God will show you what He has for you to do in all the many roles you play. He may be asking you to be the best wife or husband, parent or child you can be. He may ask you to love someone who is very hard to love. He might want you to trust Him with an outcome of a circumstance.
What ever it is...pray that God will clearly show you what HE wants you to do.
And… also, if perhaps He may be calling you to your own time of personal or group Lectio Divina with Him. I promise He will shed His light upon His word by the power of the Holy Spirit and you will feel much better than you did when you sat down to do it. He is a God who loves to shed His light from above and to speak to us through it…
“Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10
I know that You are speaking to me all the time in all sorts of ways. I just need to take the time to sit and listen. I ask that You would grant me the grace to be able to do just that. And once I do hear You speak to me through Your Sacred word, circumstances or others, I pray that You would grant me an even greater grace to follow through with what I hear You saying to me. I know that I can hear many voices. Please Lord, speak to me loudly and clearly through Your word, which is always for my good. And if, Lord, you are calling me to step out and ask a group of friends to meet together and listen to Your Word together, I pray that I would have the courage and ability to do that. I love You Lord, help me to love You even more.
I ask this in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen