Lectio Divina literally means “divine reading” or “sacred reading.” The purpose is to engage Scripture by very slowly and intentionally “chewing” on each word and phrase. It is similar to centering prayer in that is another way of cultivating a listening heart and embracing Jesus’ presence in our lives; and it takes practice
The practice comes out of the monastic tradition and can be done either alone or in community. The Father of Monasticism, St. Benedict, spoke of listening “with the ear of our hearts.” Lectio Divina allows us to listen for the “still, small voice” of God that resides deep within each one of us; a voice that is speaking to each of us intimately and quietly, beneath the din of everyday life. The practice of Lectio Divina bids you to seek a word that God is speaking to you at this particular moment in time
Lectio divina is not Bible study – though you’ll often gain insights into scripture. It is important to remember that it is not goal-oriented.
Lectio Divina Shared in Community
(A) Listening for the Gentle Touch of Christ the Word
(The Literal Sense)
1. One person reads aloud (twice) the passage of scripture, as others are attentive to some segment that is especially meaningful to them.
2. Silence for 1-2 minutes. Each hears and silently repeats a word or phrase that attracts.
3. Sharing aloud: [A word or phrase that has attracted each person]. A simple statement of one or a few words. No elaboration.
(B) How Christ the Word speaks to ME
(The Allegorical Sense)
4. Second reading of same passage by another person.
5. Silence for 2-3 minutes. Reflect on “Where does the content of this reading touch my life today?”
6. Sharing aloud: Briefly: “I hear, I see...”
(C) What Christ the Word Invites me to DO
(The Moral Sense)
7. Third reading by still another person.
8. Silence for 2-3 minutes. Reflect on “I believe that God wants me to . . . . . . today/this week.”
9. Sharing aloud: at somewhat greater length the results of each one's reflection. [Be especially aware of what is shared by the person to your right.]
10. After full sharing, pray for the person to your right.
Note: Anyone may “pass” at any time. If instead of sharing with the group you prefer to pray silently, simply state this aloud and conclude your silent prayer with Amen.