Throughout history, bread has been the basis of physical nourishment for all people. Because it was such a basic staple, God used bread in many forms and ways in the Old Testament to prepare His people for the fulfillment of them all: the Bread of Life.
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LOVE the Word® is a Bible study method based on Mary's own practice: lectio without the Latin.
L – Listen (Receive the Word.)
O – Observe (Choose one or more of the following personality approaches to connect the passage to your life and recent events.)
F | Franciscan – Cook a meal for someone or volunteer in a soup kitchen this week, conscious that you are nourishing them as God's hands and feet.
I | Ignatian – Make a point this week to have a bit of your favorite bread. Think of the preparation that went into your being able to eat it. What does it smell, feel, look, and taste like. Does it make a sound as you bite or chew? What do you discern about Jesus' Bread of Life discourse as you meditate?
A | Augustinian – Every meal and every Eucharist you eat comes, in some way, from God's hand. What does that mean for you?
T | Thomistic – Take a look at the guidelines for Eucharistic bread and wine in the following Church document, Redemptionis Sacramentum (Chapter III.1). What do you learn?
V – Verbalize (Pray about your thoughts and emotions.)
Remembering that He loves you and that you are in His presence, talk to God about the particulars of your O – Observe step. You may want to write your reflections in your LOVE the Word® journal. Or, get a free journal page and guide in the right-hand margin.
E – Entrust (May it be done to me according to your word!)
You Who have willingly given me Your Flesh as food, Who are a burning fire to the unworthy, do not consume me. No, my Creator; rather penetrate into my members, all my joints, my organs, and my heart. Burn all my iniquities like thorns; cleanse my soul, make holy my thoughts, make firm my knees and my bones as well. Illumine my five senses and make vigilant my entire being with the fear of You. Watch over me always; shield and protect me from every deed and word which corrupts the soul.
Cleanse me, purify me, and put me in order; adorn me, give me understanding, and illumine me. Show me to be the dwelling of Your Spirit alone, and not the dwelling place of sin; so that when You enter into the home of Your communion, every evil doer and every passion will flee from me as from fire. As intercessors I bring to You all the saints, the chiefs of the bodiless hosts, Your Forerunner, the wise Apostles, and moreover Your immaculate and pure Mother; accept their prayers, my compassionate Christ, and make Your servant a child of light. For in Your goodness You alone sanctify and enlighten our souls, and to You, our God and Master, as is right we send up glory every day. (Saint Symeon Metafrastes)
*LOVE the Word® exercises are offered according to FIAT: the four personalities, or “prayer forms,” explored in Prayer and Temperament, by Chester Michael and Marie Norrisey: Franciscan, Ignatian, Augustinian, and Thomistic: FIAT! These prayer forms correspond to the Myers-Briggs personality types.
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