LECTIO DIVINA

So, you never heard of lectio divina? Well, if you can read and you have faith, then you can do it. 

 

Lectio divina (or lectio for short) is an ancient, yet straightforward way of praying. It literally means “sacred reading” in Latin, but it simply refers to prayerfully reflecting on Scripture. Spending time with God in prayer is important, but we might wonder how to do this. Well, it normally requires having something to think about and turn over in your mind once you have put yourself in God’s presence. Lectio uses the great gift of Scripture to provide what to think about while spending time with God. 

 

The 4 steps will help you better understand this prayer method. But don’t get too caught up in method! Ask the Spirit for guidance. I’d recommend 15 min. for lectio (if you want to do more, great!).

 

READING: of course, you start by reading Scripture. Take only a few lines to a paragraph (yet if the Spirit prompts you, read more). Read so as to listen. What is God saying to us, or to me? Read slowly, and repeatedly.

 

MEDITATION: having read the passage, start thinking about it. Perhaps a word or phrase will jump out as especially meaningful. Stay with it, repeat it, ponder it. Sometimes, it helps to use your imagination: imagine yourself as a character in the story, picture details in the scene, etc. However you meditate, recall that you are listening for what God is saying.

 

PRAYER: here you petition God based on your meditation. Ask the Lord for something brought to mind by your reflection on the passage. Don’t worry about being eloquent — speak from the heart.

 

CONTEMPLATION: sometimes a sense of the Lord’s loving presence will come upon you. Active thinking and praying will stop, and you’ll simply rest in the Lord’s presence.


Note: if you have trouble getting through these steps, don’t worry. Any practice of prayer will be dry at times. If you try, that is acceptable to God.

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