Tag Archives: Lectio Divina

The Spirit of truth

Pentecost

[Jesus said,] “But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.” John 16:13

The truth is that when I love and treat others with patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, then I am filled with the Spirit of God.

Today I will let God’s Spirit guide me in all my interactions.

Pray in love

Women in Prayer, 2021

God is love, and whoever abides in love
abides in God and God in him. 1 John 4:16b

I abide in love when I treat others with compassion, patience, and respect. I abide in love when I graciously receive help or kindness from another. I abide in love when I spend quiet time in prayer with the Lordalone or with others.

Today I will pray to be filled with God’s kindness and patience. I will pray to give and receive love wherever I go.

Simply love

Helping Hand

Jesus said to his disciples, “This I command you: love one another.” John 15:17

I count 18 instances of the word “love” in today’s readings.

The message is very clear.

Today I choose love in its many forms: listening attentively to others, speaking respectfully to everyone I encounter, helping someone in need, thanking others for their help, treating all people with kindness and courtesy, refraining from gossip and negative criticism, rejoicing in the beauty of creation, spending quiet time alone with the Lord.

Entwined with love

Famous grape vine in Montecito, 1876
New York Public Library

“Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches.”
John 15:4-5a

Our lives are entwined with the Lord. God’s love supports us, feeds us, guides us, inspires us.

Today I choose to remain in kindness and compassion.

Formed by love

Palestine shepherd
laying the sheep on his shoulders
First World War

See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. 1 John 3a

Each of us is a beloved child of God, created by God’s love for the purpose of sharing God’s love with everyone we encounter.

What prevents me from recognizing myself and others as children of the God of love?

Let’s accept peace

Fritz von Uhde (1848-1911)
Der Gang nach Emmaus
pastel on paper, 1891
Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden

[Jesus] stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” Luke 24:36b

Peace is a gift from the Lord.

May I let go of worry, efforts to control others, fear of the future, dissatisfaction with the present, resentment, and blame.

Today may I graciously accept the Lord’s gift of peace.

Peace

Franciszek Smuglewicz (1745 – 1807)
Doubting Thomas
oil on canvas, ca.1800
Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.”
John 20:21a

Jesus repeats it to be sure we get the message: “Peace be with you.”

This is the Lord of peace and reconciliation, the Lord of forgiveness and compassion, the Lord of comfort and mercy.

Lord, fill me with your peace and compassion today.

Hope

Caravaggio
Mary Magdalene Grieving
oil on canvas, between 1605 and1606

On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. John 20:1

She probably couldn’t sleep from grief. She got up at the first possible moment and went to care for the body of Jesus. And he was gone.

When did she let go of the fear that someone had snatched his body and begin to hope he had risen from the dead?

Lord, help me to choose hope over fear. Let me rejoice in the gifts of today.

The last words

Chapelle Dévôt-Christ
at Perpignan Cathedral
14th century crucifix

Having bought a linen cloth, [Joseph of Aramathea] took [Jesus] down, wrapped him in the linen cloth, and laid him in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb. Mark 15:46

The story of Jesus’ Passion is deeply distressing with its matter-of-fact narration of the human experiences of rejection, betrayal, abandonment, injustice, cruelty, mockery, bullying, abuse, pain, and suffering.

And yet… and yet it ends with caring and tenderness as Joseph of Aramathea removes Jesus’ body from the cross, wraps it gently in fine linen, and lays it to rest.

It seems to me that compassion and kindness will always be the last words in our human story.

Lord, help me to reach out with your tender care to those who are suffering and in need.

Dying to live

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
Field of Wheat with Cypresses
oil on canvas, 1889
Metropolitan Museum of Art

[Jesus answered them,] “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” John 12:24

God has planted the seed of unconditional love in my heart.

May I let the hard shell of resentment, indifference, selfishness, and prejudice that surrounds this precious seed of love die.

I want to do God’s will and produce the living fruit of God’s love in our fragile world.