Praying with Scripture

Lectio divina is a particular way of praying with scripture.  It’s an ancient spiritual art kept alive within the monastic, particularly Benediction, tradition; a contemplative way which enables the Word of God to make present the One who loves us.  By tradition it follows four stages:-


Lectio
meaning, reverential reading of a portion of text, usually scripture.

Meditatio meaning, meditation

Oratio meaning, prayer

Contemplatio meaning, resting in God’s embrace

(If you find the traditional Latin words too cumbersome then think of “Four R’s” instead: Reading, Reflection, Reaction and Resting.)

Lectio (reading)

First Reading
Read the passage aloud and listen for a word, phrase or idea that captures your attention. As you recognize a word, phrase or idea, focus your attention on that word, repeating it.

(Slowly read the text aloud followed by a period of silence)

Second Reading
Focus your attention on how the word, phrase or idea speaks to your life this day.

(Again, slowly read the text aloud followed by a period of silence)

Meditatio (reflection)
What does it mean for you today?  How is Christ, the Word, speaking to you about your life through this word, phrase or idea?  What is the Word saying to you about your life?  Ruminate upon it so that you take from it what God wants to give.

Oratio (response)
Reflecting on the Word of God, leave thinking aside and simply let your heart speak to God.

Contemplatio (rest)
Let go of all this and simply rest in the Word of God.  Listen at the deepest level of your being to God who speaks within you with a still small voice.

Here is a link to a You Tube introduction to Lectio Divina