Memorial of St. Benedict - Here is one of our favorite books about St. Benedict. (this is an affiliate link, purchasing through this link helps our ministry)
Step #1 - Clear the Mind.My distractions this morning were thoughts of work for the day and week. My mind also wanted to explore an upcoming family visit with my brother-in-law and his family.
Today's readings can be found here. The readings today seemed to be so far different from the way I usually imagine God - spurning prayers, bringing the sword, etc. It was difficult to read so I kept reading, asking God to help it make sense to me.
Step #2 - Read the Scriptures
Step #3 - Join the Story
As I sat and listened to Jesus' words I was shocked. I was not expecting him to promote violence or the sword. I wasn't expecting him to tell me that if I loved someone more than him, I'm not worthy of him. But the more I listened, the more the message became clear. God must be first in my life. In the first reading God spurns the prayers, sacrifices and offerings of his people. Why? Because their hearts were not in it. They were going thorugh the motions. It essentially became a false worship of the true God. Similarly, Jesus rejects a false love of him and a false peace at the expense of truth. To truly love God I must think back to the Sunday Gospel and love him with all that I am. I can't hold anything or anyone back. I must be all in!
Step #4 - Talk/Listen to God
Dear God, show me the ways that I am holding back from you. Show me where my heart is not completely yours. Help me to give myself to you completely in my prayers, sacrifices, and service to you and others. Reveal to me the areas in my life where I am simply going through the motions and give me the strength to offer you my heart.
Step #5 - Bonus Step - ThanksgivingDear Lord, thank you for this time of prayer and meditation. Thank you for another day to know you, to love you, and to serve you. Thank you for all of the people joining us during these 30 days. Help us all to grow in our love for you and one another! Give us the strength to worship you and live a life that is attractive to others that through our love for you, they too will come to know you.
Today is Monday, I would encourage you to pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. Here are the Joyful Mysteries of Suffering.