Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina = divine reading, or sacred reading. An active resting in the Word of God.

Lectio Divina is an art of reading NOT for information, like a book or story, but for FORMATION of our spirits. “We approach our reading as a disciple comes to a master: receptive, docile, willing to be changed” (Trappist Michael Casey, Sacred Reading). It is a contemplative exercise because, in Lectio Divina, we want to let go of our thoughts.

Lectio Divina is like reading poetry, we circle back again and again to the text. There is a lingering and a journey to the depth of the Bible AND our lives. We wait for the fusion of the text and its message to the heart of our lives, and as we do so, we listen with the “ear of the heart.”

Within the broad tradition of Lectio Divina, there are many methods. Here is the one we use communally at St. Joseph on Mondays.

The Practice of Communal Lectio Divina at St. Joseph

6:00pm – a bell chimes. We prepare for Lectio Divina by a short prayer or a breath exercise and by finding a comfortable position.

  1. The leader recites the Bible text in both English and Spanish. (For us, it will be the Gospel for the upcoming Sunday. ) We let the text wash over us like water for a few minutes.
  2. The leader again recites the Bible text in both English and Spanish. In the second round, we seek a word or phrase that seems to stand out from everything else. What is the text starting to say to me?
  3. The leader recites the Bible text in both English and Spanish. For the third round, we ask ourselves what this word or phrase asks us to pray for. Give to God what you have found in the word or phrase.
  4. The leader recites the Bible text in both English and Spanish. For the final round, we ask what difference this text can make in my life. How can I live it out? What action may be called for?

6:25pm – closing bell chimes, as we rest for a moment in what we have received. We end with a short silent prayer or gesture.

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