Thursday, July 14, 2016

30 Day Prayer Challenge - Day 7

*The 30 Day Prayer Challenge is hosted by Real Life Rosary.  During these 30 days we are using the book 4 Simple Steps to Better Meditations to dive deeper into reading the daily scriptures.  Please click any of links for more information.  Join our Facebook Group to stay up to date.

Feast of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

Step #1 - Clear the Mind.

My only distraction this morning was the alarm clock distracting me from sleep.  I got up late and could read the readings until I got to work...

Step #2 - Read the Scriptures

Today's readings can be found here.  Today's Gospel is very short and it made me think of a meditation I'd written years ago that I'll share here.

Step #3 - Join the Story

This is one of those Scripture passages that makes me stop, re-read, pray through it, and in the end still not understand fully what is being said. With the first verse I am all excited. After all I need rest, I labor, and sometimes I feel like I'm being crushed by my load - my work, family, and other activities. However, as I read on I hear two mentions of a yoke. I know that a yoke is used to tie beasts of burden to farm or work implements. So, my question is "how is placing a yoke on my back going to give me rest? How is this harness of sorts going to provide "rest for my soul."

Jesus then goes on to admit that He is in fact giving me a burden - my burden is light. With one sentence I am told to come to Him for rest and the remainder of the passage tells me that I should take His yoke upon myself. What gives?

The only way I know to explain this apparent contradiction is with a life preserver or a life vest. It too is a sort of yoke, yet it is light. If we were to fall into the sea with this light and gentle yoke it would save our life. If we didn't have the life vest on, the wind and waves would overcome us and we would perish.

If we put on the easy yoke of Christ and the light burden of the Lord, we will be saved from drowning in the sea of sin. However, if we cling to that which is not from God, sin, we will sink straight to the bottom with our heavy burden.

So, what is the "yoke" of the Lord? What is the "light burden" that He gives us? The apostle John gives us the answer - "For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whomever is begotten by God conquers the world." 1 John 5:3

FROM THE SAINTS - "Any other burden opresses and crushes you, but Christ's actually takes weight off you. Any other burden weighs down, but Christ's gives you wings. If you take a bird's wings away, you might seem to be taking weight off it, but the more weight you take off, the more you tie it down to the earth. There it is on the ground, and you wanted to relieve it of a weight; give it back the weight of its wings and you will see how it flies." - Saint Augustine

Step #4 - Talk/Listen to God

Dear God, help me to embrace the yoke and burden you have planned for my life.  Give me the strength to keep my eyes upon your Son on the cross when I feel as though things are too much.

Step #5 - Bonus Step - Thanksgiving

Dear 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!  Thank you for the opportunity to grow with this "yoke" and "burden" of the challenge.  May it make us better sons and daughters.

Today is Thursday, I would encourage you to pray the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary.  Here are the Luminous Mysteries as seen through the eyes of various people.

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Mother's Day Weekend.