Lectio Divina



Lectio Divina (pronounced lex-ee-oh di-vee-nuh) is the art of sacred reading.  It invites us to read in such a way that engages the text as a means of prayer.

Get comfortable in your sacred space.  Choose your text for the day.  (Any text from the Bible can be used for this purpose, but the reading should not be too long.)  Still yourself.  Sit quietly.  Close your eyes.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Focus on your breath.  Place yourself in the loving presence of God.  When you start to feel centered, say a short prayer, like a breath prayer.  A breath prayer is a prayer that can be said in a single breath.  As we inhale we address God, inviting God into our midst, and as we exhale we say a short petition.  “Holy Spirit, fill my life” is an example of a breath prayer.

As you open your eyes, read the passage aloud, attentively, reverently, reflectively, and slowly.  Now ponder and meditate on what you have read.  Ask yourself what word or phrase jumped out as you read.  What does this word or phrase mean for your life?  Rest in the question.  You can read the text many times to let the words sink into your mind and heart.  Then take a moment to respond in prayer to what insight you have gained.  Let your heart speak to God.  Perhaps it is a surrender of will or perhaps a sigh of gratitude.  Whatever it is, give your authentic response.  And then just take time to rest in God’s presence.  Let go of your own ideas and plans.  Embrace the gift of contemplation and allow the Holy Spirit to shape your life.  Give time and space for God to speak to you.  Await the still small voice that speaks in your spirit.

As you bring this time with God to a close, re-read aloud the passage one more time and close with a prayer.


Some Helps:


For a selection of daily passages to read, I recommend http://www.crivoice.org/daily.html  You do not have to read all the texts for the day.  Just pick one and try out lectio divina as a prayerful way to engage the text.  In order to navigate the website, it might help to know that we are currently in Ordinary Time.  Advent will start November 27, 2011.  

A variation on the above is Audio Divina (Sacred Listening).  This enables you, instead of reading the scripture, to listen to the scripture.  These two websites will do that for you:

http://alivenow.upperroom.org/2011/05/13/audio-lectio/

http://www.pray-as-you-go.org


Updated on the 3rd of September 2013:

For another way to practice Lectio, I invite you to visit this site:

http://abbeyofthearts.com/blog/2013/09/01/community-lectio-divina-isaiah-426-10/

Abbey of the Arts walks you through the practice of lectio divina using Isaiah 42:6-10.

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