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Lectio Divina

Pope Benedict
"Sacred Scripture in the Life of the Church," the Holy Father recommended the monastic practice of lectio divina, the prayerful, meditative reading of the Bible. "Assiduous reading of sacred Scripture accompanied by prayer makes that intimate dialogue possible in which, through reading, one hears God speaking, and through prayer, one responds with a confident opening of the heart,"

 

What is Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina is Latin for "sacred reading" and it's a method of prayer with Sacred Scripture. In Lectio Divina we are tuning into the Divine wavelength in a simple, prayerful process where God starts off the conversation and we listen in silence, then, we respond to what God is asking of us. We are listening for the still, small voice of God that will speak to us personally and intimately.In Lectio Divina we read slowly, attentively, gently listening to hear a word or phrase that is God's word for us this day

Lectio Divina was started by Benedictine monks centuries ago they said there are basically four stages of Lectio Divina: lectio, meditatio, oratio and contemplatio; Latin for reading, meditation, praying and contemplating.

A easy way to remember is the Four R's of Lectio Divina: reading, reflecting, responding and resting.

 

FOUR STAGES OF LECTIO DIVINA

The first stage: reading. (Lectio)

Understand its true content: what does the biblical text say in itself?
First you choose a passage of scripture and read it very slowly .(you may wish to read explanation in Bible concordance).
After a brief pause, Leader reads one verse or section at a time. You listen carefully for a word or phase that touches you, resonates, attracts or even disturbs you. (Keep reading until you have a word)

 

The second stage: reflecting. (Meditatio){Important part}-

What does the biblical text say to us?
You read the passage again, slowly.Once we have found a word or a passage in the Scriptures which speaks to us in a personal way, we must take it in and "ruminate" on it allowing it to slowly and deeply sink in. Listen for what the word or phrase is saying to you at this moment in your life, what it may be offering to you, what it may be demanding of you.

A question to ask is;

"What is God saying to me through this text? ",

"What does this Word mean for my life? ","What do I need to change?"

 

The third stage: responding. (Oratio)The prayer stage

What do we say to the Lord in response to his word?

You read the passage again, slowly.When you've spent time listening to the Word of God and chewing on it, you respond back to God.

Our Response;

God speaks; we listen and accept, and respond to God and speak to him.

You may wish to offer a prayer of thanksgiving, repentance, or a petition, depending on how you were moved by the passage.

We ask God for the grace to be changed by what we have read, to come more fully into being what He wants us to be, and to help us apply the Scripture to our lives.

 

The fourth stage: remaining. Resting (Contemplatio)

Ask ourselves what conversion of mind, heart and life is the Lord asking of us?

You read the passage again, slowly. And now, after you've had this conversation with God in which He has spoken to you through His Word and you have responded, you remain there with him in silence. Clear your mind and focus your attention loving on God and His presence.

This stage is God's response to us, so it's totally beyond our control. We cannot create contemplation by ourselves. It is a divine gift that the Lord in His goodness gives us. You don't have to say anything to God just rest in God's presence, love and peace.

Action(Actio)

We do well also to remember that the process of lectio divina is not concluded until it arrives at action, which moves the believer to make his or her life a gift for others in charity" (Verbum Domini, 87).

 

Preparation for Lectio Divina

All pray together:

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of your love.

Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created; and you shall renew the face of the earth.

O God, who taught the hearts of your faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that by the gift of the same Spirit we may be always truly wise and ever rejoice in his consolation. Through Christ our Lord.

 

Four R's of Lectio Divino

Lectio (Reading)
Slowly read a passage of the scripture .After a brief pause, read again one verse or section at a time until you become aware of any word or phrase that inspires you.

Meditatio (Reflecting)
Slowly read the passage again. Chew over the meaning of the word or phrase that came to you and how you can use it in your daily life

Oratio (Responding)
Slowly read the passage again .Ask God for the grace to be changed and to apply what we have learnt in this passage to our lives.

Contemplatio (Resting)
Slowly read the passage again. Loving focus on God and His presence

Sharing

Share with others in the group anything you have heard from God and how The Holy Spirit will change you through these words. Use the first person: 'I find...', 'I feel...'

 We live what we have learned through Lectio divina .

Concluding prayer.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

It is a good idea to write down your thoughts after Lectio Divina and keep a journal.

 

 

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