“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31-32).
Have you been sifted? Are you being sifted?
Every Christian is sifted. But when we have turned back, we must strengthen our brothers and sisters.
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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 – In Jesus' exhortation to Peter, above, you are likely most drawn to this part: “when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Where have you been sifted by God? How can you strengthen your brother or sister?
I | Ignatian – Threshing is the process of loosening the edible part of grain from the husks and straw to which it is attached. It is the step in grain preparation after reaping and before winnowing, which separates the grain from the chaff.
With all your senses, imagine yourself as Peter in this passage. “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31-32).
How do you think this “sifting” feels? What happens? Have you experienced it, yourself?
A | Augustinian – Where have you been guilty of anger toward public sin and corruption in the Church, without the same anger and sadness toward your own private sin?
T | Thomistic – “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31-32).
Look at the winnowing, or sifting, process here.
In researching the process, what do you learn about what Jesus was saying to Peter in this passage? What was Satan asking to do, and what did Satan actually do with Peter? How is this sifting process part of each Christian's life? Does this knowledge make you more or less inclined to mercy toward others whose sin you see plainly?
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!)
Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love only what is holy. Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guard me so, O Holy Spirit, that I may always be holy. + Amen.
*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.
I. The Summons – History
A. Isaiah’s call
B. History of the Book of Isaiah
C. History of God’s people’s corruption
D. Corruption causes disunity
II. The Separating – First Isaiah
A. Public scandal and corruption
C. Corruption causes public disunity
D. Assyria and Samaria
E. Samaritans and Protestants
F. Protestants and Catholics
G. The “unclean” (Is 35:8)
III. The Sifting – Second Isaiah
A. Private scandal and corruption