Lectio Divina (Latin for “Divine Reading”) is a traditional monastic practice of praying the Scriptures that leads us deeper into God’s Word. It dates back to ancient times when illiterate monks listened to their literate sisters and brothers read scripture.
Their purpose was not to study Bible passages, but to be moved by them; to, in the words of Thomas Keating, “think the text (but not) about the text,” or to, in the words of St. Benedict, “listen with the ear of the heart.”
Lectio is the practice of listening to a scriptural passage without preconceived thought or intellectual study. It is not Bible study; nor is it an opportunity to share or discuss. It is an opportunity to quiet oneself and be receptive to God speaking through the Holy Spirit.
Here is the upcoming schedule of the readings that will be used when the group meets on Wednesdays. These readings are taken from one of the lectionary readings assigned for that day.
Ash Wednesday, February 26, Amos 5:6-15
Wednesday, March 4. Genesis 37: 25-36
Wednesday, March 11, Genesis 42: 18-28
Wednesday, March 18, Genesis 46: 28-34
Wednesday, March 25, The Annunciation, Canticle 15, Luke 1:46-55
Here’s how to practice Lectio:
For those who are more comfortable with structured prayer, Lectio may not hold much allure. But, practitioners would urge others to try it, because the benefits are so strong.
Quiet yourself. You can begin with a simple word prayer, or breathing exercises. Open your Bible and read 2 or 3 lines slowly. In silence, let the words simply rest in you.
Read the text again. This time, interact with it. Ponder it. Speak with God about it. Is there a word or phrase that speaks to you? What is it saying to you?
Read the text again. This time, simply rest in the words. Thank God for being with you both in words and in silence.
As you go through your day, continue to ponder the reading and what you experienced in it