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SIMPLE40 - DAY 26 - Do What is Fruitful

Yesterday was a little introduction to what Lectio Divina is and how it can help you grow spiritually. Today I will walk you through the steps of this prayer process that are really quite simple. To learn the tried and true practice of Lectio Divina, it is best to just jump in and do it! Remember that the goal is to grow in your knowledge of God through meditating on His Holy Living Word. So, first pick a comfortable place to sit and prepare your heart to be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Initially, it is recommended to use a short reading from one of the four Gospels as they are most familiar. Once you learn the process, the steps will naturally flow into the next without much effort. The 4 Steps of Lectio Divina: 1) Lectio (Read or Listen to someone else read) Read the passage of scripture slowly and prayerfully. Read it more than once (3 times is common) so you become very familiar with the words and phrasing. When a particular word or phrase strikes you, pause to take note of it. 2) Meditatio (Meditate) Meditate on the passage you just read, particularly the word or phrase that stood out to you. Ask yourself what this passage is telling you. How is it speaking to your heart and current life situation? What might God be saying to you? 3) Oratio (Pray) Talk to God about what you just read. Share your thoughts with Him and offer the stirrings and desires of your heart. It does not have to be anything profound, just straight from your heart to His. Listen in silence to what He wants to reveal to you. 4) Contemplatio (Contemplate) After reading, meditating and praying, it is time to contemplate or to rest in the presence of God. This is time to be silent and let Him work in you. Contemplative prayer is the simple expression of the mystery of prayer. It is a gaze of faith fixed on Jesus, an attentiveness to the Word of God, a silent love. It achieves real union with the prayer of Christ to the extent that it makes us share in his mystery. ~CCC 2724 There is really no simpler way to pray than to practice Lectio Divina. Simple in this way does not mean shallow or that the effects will be minimal. It is quite the opposite. Some people pray this way every day. Some only a couple times a week or just on Sunday afternoon. Do what works for you...key word here is DO. (If you listen to it, you may find it is a good time to do some deep breathing as well...see below.) When you begin this prayer practice and make it routine, you will change, grow in holiness and wholeness, and receive many graces from God. There are a lot of resources out there on Lectio including journals and apps. I really like listening to the AMEN app by the Augustine Institute and the guided Lectio meditations they offer. You can pick your favorite background music and pause if you need more time. Give it a try... AMEN APP LECTIO DIVINA JOURNAL


spiritual Begin to prepare for Mass on Sunday by reading the Gospel, John 12:20-33. Use the Lectio Divina method to prayerfully read and ponder. Do you have the "Magnificat"? If so, go to pages 267-269 and read their Lectio Divina meditation for this Gospel reading.

Words of Wisdom... Lent is not the spiritual Olympics. It’s not about doing what’s hard. It’s about doing what’s fruitful. And a fruitful Lent is one which will lead you to a deeper understanding of your weakness and your need for Jesus. It’s one which will draw you closer to Him. And it’s one in which you will have united your prayers, sacrifices and sufferings to His, taking seriously your role as His co-worker in the redemption of the world. (Colossians 1:34; 1 Corinthians 3:9). ~Emily Stimpson Chapman


self Sometimes I feel like I need a sign like this to remind me to breathe! Take a deep breath...a good, long, deep breath...and let it out. If you are feeling a little lighter, you are not imagining it. Breathing is one of the most simple things you can do to take care of yourself. The benefits for your overall mental and physical health are quite amazing! Did you know that the average person takes more than eight million breaths per year? And most of those breaths are just on the surface, rarely deep. A few weeks ago, I shared a little video on "box breathing". You can find the link again below if you would like to revisit it. It is just one way to help you focus on your breathing and helps to reduce stress and anxiety. Another method of breathing was developed by Wim Hof. His method is different from the box breathing in that you probably don't want to do it while standing in the checkout line at the grocery store! My husband and son have been using the Wim Hof method with great results, so I gave it a try. I was surprised at how long I could hold my breath and by the end of it, I really felt quite relaxed and energized at the same time. I also found it difficult to take deep breaths at the beginning, but as I stuck with it, I felt my lungs open up and was able to breathe more deeply with less effort. So, there you go! Box Breathing - Appropriate for grocery store check out lines Wim Hof - best done at home!


service This weekend, take some time to connect with a friend or family member that you haven't spoken with in a while. No texting allowed! This must be a phone call or in person conversation. Who comes to mind as you read this? Call that person!


today's recipe EMERIL'S SHRIMP SCAMPI Over the years, our family has come to love many of Emeril Lagasse's recipes. This is another quick and easy Lenten recipe that always gets great reviews and is highly requested throughout the year in our house. Serve with a salad and Emeril's recipe for garlic bread. 1 pound large (16-20 count per pound) shrimp peeled and deveined 2 teaspoons Essence (yesterday's recipe) 2 teaspoons olive oil 1⁄4 cup unsalted butter 1 1⁄2 tablespoons minced garlic 1 tablespoon capers crushed 1⁄2 cup dry white wine 1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice 1⁄4 teaspoon salt 1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1⁄2 pound cooked linguini 3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves Directions Toss the shrimp in a medium bowl with the Essence. Place the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over high heat. Add the shrimp and spread them out evenly in the skillet. Cook for 2 minutes and quickly turn the shrimp. Add the garlic and capers to the pan and cook for 30 seconds. Add the wine, lemon juice, and remaining 2 tablespoons of the butter to the skillet and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Season the shrimp with the salt and pepper and add the pasta, tossing to coat well. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the parsley. Serve hot.


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