Tag Archives: Lectio Divina

Free to Love

Rembrandt (1606-1669)
The Raising of Lazarus
oil on oak wood, ca.1630-1632
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Thus says the Lord God: I will put my spirit in you that you may live. Ezekiel 37:14

We live with the spirit of God’s open-handed, unconditional love in us to guide us with every decision, every word, every impulse to kindness, generosity, and compassion.

Lord, untie me from the bonds of self-centeredness and self-pity. Let your spirit speak and act through me today that I may be free to be fully alive.

The beauty of the human heart

A.N. Mironov (b.1975) Christ and the Pauper.
Healing of the blind man. Oil on canvas, 2009.

But the Lord said to Samuel,”Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the LORD looks into the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b

God sees each of us with the eyes of unconditional love. God sees the beauty of our human hearts with their wounds and bruises, their compassion and kindness. God sees each of us as we were made: in the image of God’s own goodness and love.

Lord, spiritual blindness prevents me from seeing myself and others with the eyes of God. Heal my fear, arrogance, and self-centeredness that I may see the hearts of all people and not judge by appearance.

Thirsting for love

Jacek Malczewski (1854–1929)
Jésus et la Samaritaine, 1912
Lviv National Art Gallery

[Jesus said,] “Whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst.” John 4:14

The water Jesus gives us is unconditional love. A spirit of love. A heart of love. A mind of love. When we receive love, give love, ensure love circulates in our little piece of the world, we will never thirst.

Lord, the thirst for love in our world is so great. Open my heart to receive the water of your love and help me to release that love wherever I am.

Listen for peace

The Transfiguration – Matthew 17:1-13 JESUS MAFA. Transfiguration, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=48307 [retrieved March 5, 2023]

“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” Matthew 17:5

Today I will make a quiet space to listen to the Lord speak trust, peace, love, compassion, and forgiveness in my heart.

Lord, we are all your beloved sons and daughters. Help me to treat myself and others with kindness and respect.

Focus on God

James Tissot (1836-1902)
Jésus tenté dans le désert
gouache over graphite on gray wove paper,
between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum

At this, Jesus said to him, “Get away, Satan! It is written: The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.” Matthew 4:10

I give power to whatever I focus on. Today I will serve the Lord by putting my attention on God, especially when I am tempted to dwell on pain, fatigue, heartache, problems in my family, financial issues, or the many distressing events in our world.

Lord, you are love. Thank you for welcoming me into your holy presence.

Kindness and mercy

Mount of the Beatitudes

Jesus said to his disciples, “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:44

The Lord doesn’t call me to seek out harmful situations, but life experiences of unjust treatment, rejection, or abuse do happen. I must cultivate a practice of letting go of the pain, fear, and grief caused by people or events that are out of my control and ask God to bless everyone I find hard to love.

Today I will immerse myself in God’s kindness and mercy. I will ask God to open my heart so that I may in my turn release the kindness and mercy I receive from God into the world.

Lord, bless all the people I resent and help me to forgive them. Bless all those who resent me, too, as I am not always kind, merciful, or loving in my treatment of others.

Look into the depths

Mount of the Beatitudes

For the Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God. 1 Corinithians 2:10b

God’s Holy Spirit leads me to scrutinize my words, actions, behaviors, and attitudes to discern where I have loved and where I have neglected to love.

Today I will spend quiet time alone and ask the Spirit to open my mind and heart to receive God’s love, to help me choose justice, generosity, forgiveness, and compassion in my interactions—and to be accountable for how I treat myself and others.

Lord, help me trust and practice your law of love today.

To-do list

Mount of Beatitudes

Thus says the LORD:
Share your bread with the hungry,
shelter the oppressed and the homeless;
clothe the naked when you see them,
and do not turn your back on your own.

Isaiah 58:7

Sometimes I just don’t know how to help. There are so many people in need.

But the Lord gives me a simple to-do list. Share my food and clothing. Find a way to help those without homes and those who are suffering unjust, inhumane treatment. Honor and respect all people. Make my home an oasis of kindness and welcome.

Today I will shine the light of love and compassion in my corner of the world. I will refuse to be indifferent to any of God’s children.

Blessed with love

Seek justice, seek humility. Zephaniah 2:3b

Grief, confrontation, and injustice are realities of the human condition. Every time our lives are disrupted by death, illness, aggression, violence, prejudice, or discrimination, we have the opportunity to ask God to help us, to teach us what we need to learn from the experience in order to grow in our likeness to God’s love and goodness.

To seek justice for ourselves and others is to love our neighbor as ourselves.

To seek humility is to look to the Lord to teach us how to relate to others from a place of peace, understanding, and compassion.

Today I will remember God’s Spirit is in me to teach me and lead me. I am blessed to be alive to share God’s goodness and love with all of my neighbors near and far.

Follow Love

James Tissot (1836-1902)
Calling of Saint James and Saint John

Jesus called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him. Matthew 4:21c-22

Constant reports of war, greed, illness, depression, aggression, finger-pointing, and lack of personal accountability are causes of gloom and distress in our daily lives.

But the Lord calls us to leave our preoccupation with all that is in disrepair in the world and instead follow him to show by our life example that reconciliation, respect, courtesy, and compassionate service have the power to mend all divisions.

Today I will remember God has graced me with a spirit of love. I will follow the Lord on the way of love to bring the light of kindness, encouragement, and hope to all people I encounter.