Lectio Divina

What is lectio divina?

Lectio divina, Latin for divine reading, immerses us in the Scriptures in a new way, ultimately drawing us closer to the Lord.  With roots as far back as Saint Gregory of Nyssa (c 330-395) and Saint Benedict of Nursia (c 480-597) who founded the Benedictines, lectio divina involves reading a Scripture text multiple times and allowing the Holy Spirit to open our hearts to God’s message for us.

How do I do it?

To begin, prepare yourself for prayer.  Pick a short Scripture passage or story, such as the Gospel of the day.  Find a quiet place, light a candle, relax your body, and put away distractions.  Do whatever helps you to pray.

Lectio (Read)
Simply read the text you chose for the first time.  What word, phrase, or image stands out to you?

Meditatio (Reflect)
Read the text a second time.  Focus on the parts that stood out to you.  What might God be saying to you?

Oratio (Respond)
Read the text a third time, then jump into a conversation with God.  You could journal or simply pray in silence, but talk with God about how the message you found in the text relates to your life.  Then pray for God’s help.

Contemplatio (Rest)
Read the text a final time, then spend time in silence with the Lord.  Allow God to speak to you in the silence of your heart.  If you become distracted, just draw your attention back to the Scripture passage and be still once again.

Finally, thank God for speaking to you through this prayer experience.  As always, pray for His will to be done in your life!

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