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Lectio Divina Reading

November 18, 2007

“To attain spiritual enlightenment and become a person of recollected interior life, you should take one or the other of holy Scripture and, for as long a period as possible, concentrate on that alone all your power of attention and meditation; then the light of understanding will be revealed to you.”

Pg. 150, The Way of a Pilgrim, Billy

Statement of Intention for Centering Prayer

Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier,
alive at the center of our being, we
wish to surrender in love to You.
May our sacred word,

which we will gently pray
when we engage with our thoughts,
be a sign and symbol of our intention to
consent to Your Divine Presence
And Action within.


Readings for Thursday, November 18, 2007

Reading 1 (Mal 3:19-20a)

Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven,
when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble,
and the day that is coming will set them on fire,
leaving them neither root nor branch,
says the LORD of hosts.
But for you who fear my name, there will arise
the sun of justice with its healing rays.

Responsorial Psalm (Ps 98:5-6, 7-8, 9)

R.  The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Sing praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
sing joyfully before the King, the LORD.

Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those who dwell in it;
let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with them for joy.

Before the LORD, for he comes,
for he comes to rule the earth,
He will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.

Reading II (2 Thes 3:7-12)

Brothers and sisters:
You know how one must imitate us.
For we did not act in a disorderly way among you,
nor did we eat food received free from anyone.
On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day
we worked, so as not to burden any of you.
Not that we do not have the right.
Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you,
so that you might imitate us.
In fact, when we were with you, we instructed you that if
anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat.
We hear that some are conducting themselves among you
in a disorderly way, by not keeping busy but minding the business of others.
Such people we instruct and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ
to work quietly and to eat their own food.

Gospel (Lk 21:5-19)

While some people were speaking about
how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings,
Jesus said, "All that you see here--
the days will come when there will not be left
a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down."

Then they asked him,
"Teacher, when will this happen?
And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?"
He answered, "See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name,
saying, 'I am he,’ and 'The time has come.’
Do not follow them!
When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified;
for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end."
Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues
from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.

"Before all this happens, however, they will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you over to the  synagogues and to prisons,
and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your
adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives,
and friends, and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives."

 Ending Prayers

My time of prayer is finished, trailing its ashes like an incense stick burned to the end. Quiet my mind before it passes judgment on this prayer, my gift to you. How can I judge its worth - this struggle to still my mind in you, my efforts to feel your presence in my prayer?  Only you can judge the simple song of love sung in the noisy chambers of my heart, often drowned by the wail of fear or the sweaty shouts of work that must be done. You, my hidden Father, waited in patience as memories called from the past and future prospects clamored for attention, filling my mind with yesterdays and tomorrows, stealing my sense of your presence.  As I prepare to go about my work, may my intention to live in your present moment be the pattern for this day and for my life. With your help may I forever do only one thing at a time - always in communion.

Imagine leaving behind all kinds of thought.  I am standing at the door
of my prayer room.  I am on the threshold.  Neither in nor out, I am
totally free.  I choose to unload all thoughts that burden me.  I put
down my fears and anxieties, my judgments and resentments, my
commentaries and preoccupations, my hopes and dreams, my memories and
wounds.  They are safe here. If I need to I can pick them up when I pass
by here again -- or I can leave a few behind each time I leave. 
Stepping into my prayer room I am emptied and unburdened.  I am
illuminated by the light that shines in the darkness.

A Deeper Love

We must seek to come to grips with our own false self.  The first step
is to accept the fact that I have a false self and begin to recognize when
it is operating.  If I do not do that I am wasting my time going on retreat
or listening to any sermons and the like, because my false self will act
like a tea-strainer, filtering out what it does not want to hear.  I will
hear what suits me, and if anything seems to be confronting me and asking me
to change I will probably become angry.  My anger will not seem to be
because I have been challenged; I will always find a very good reason for
it.  I will pick on some trivial point and focus on that or I will hear
something that was not said - anything at all will do as long as I do not
have to confront myself.

A Deeper Love, by Elizabeth Smith and Father Joseph Chalmers, O. Carm., Published in Great Britain.

Lectio Divina for CP Groups
Contemplative Outreach of Dallas

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