Friday, September 18, 2009


I. Private Lectio Divina

1. Choose a text of the Scriptures that you wish to pray. You may go through a particular book of the Bible by the use of the daily readings from the liturgy for the day is commonly done. Bear in mind that whatever you text you choose is the text that God will use to speak to you.

2. Place yourself in comfortable position and silence yourself. Go over the exercise on silence on the previous post.

3. Turn to the selected biblical text and read it slowly. Savor each portion of the reading, constantly listening to that ‘still, small voice’ of a word or phrase. There is nothing dramatic to expect. God is teaching us to listen to Him, to seek Him in silence. He softly, gently invites us ever more deeply into His presence.

4. Take the word or phrase and slowly digest it. Memorize it, repeating it to yourself, allowing it to interact with your concerns, memories and ideas. Note that random thoughts, memories or experiences are parts of you that are to be presented to God along with the rest of yourself. Allow every thought to invite you into dialogue with God.

5. Speak to God. Using words, ideas or images, interact with Him as you would with one who you know loves and accepts you. Offer to Him everything you have discovered about yourself during your experience of meditatio. Experience God using the word or phrase that He has given you as a means of blessing, of transforming the ideas and memories, which your pondering on His word has awakened.

6. Finally, rest in God's embrace. If He invites you to return to your pondering of His word or to your inner dialogue with Him, do so. Learn to use words when words are helpful, and to let go of words when they no longer are necessary. Rejoice in the knowledge that God is with you in both words and silence, in spiritual activity and inner receptivity.

There will be times when one will find it necessary to return to the printed text or to seek a new word or phrase to ponder. At other times, only a single word or phrase will fill the whole time set aside for the whole exercise. Do not be anxious about getting ‘good results’. Lectio divina being in the presence of God by praying the Scriptures.

2. Lectio Divina in Fraternity

(Note: The exercise below, done in a group of four to eight people, is for the encouraging the practice of lectio divina and should not become a substitute for the authentic form of lectio divina which is done in private.)

Listening for the Gentle Touch of Christ the Word (The Literal Sense)

1. One person reads aloud the passage from the scripture twice as others listen attentively to a segment that is especially meaningful to them.
2. Everyone maintains silence for about one to two minutes. Each person silently repeats the word or phrase that had attracted him the most.
3. Each person shares a simple statement regarding the word or phrase that has caught his attention. No elaboration will be made.

Christ the Word is speaking (The Allegorical Sense)

4. Another person recites the same passage read previously.
5. Everyone remains silent for two to three minutes. Each person reflects on the content of this reading and its significance on his life for that day.
6. Each person shares his experience briefly stating, ‘I hear, I see...’

What Christ the Word’s invitation (The Moral Sense)

7. Another person recites the same passage read again.
8. Everyone remains silent for two to three minutes, with each reflecting on what God want him to do for the day or week.
9. At a greater length, share the results of each one's reflection.
10. Listen attentively to the person seated on your right.
11. Silently pray for the person to your right.

2. Lectio Divina applied to one’s personal history
This is a method of prayerful reflection to a life/work incident instead of to a scripture passage.
Listening for the Gentle Touch of Christ the Word (The Literal Sense)

1. Review events, situations or encounters that have happened since the beginning of a retreat/or during the last month at work.

Reflecting (Meditatio - Meditation)

2. Try to remember the ‘peaks’ of such events, situations or encounters and ask yourself in what ways God seems to be present and the extent of one’s awareness was then and now.

Prayerful Consecration, Blessing (Oratio - Prayer)

3. Using a word or phrase from the Scriptures, offer up to God in prayer that incident. Allow God to accept and bless them as your gift.

Acceptance of Christ's Embrace (Contemplatio - Contemplation)

4. Remain in silence for some period.

Sharing Lectio Experiences (Operatio - Action; works)

5. Members of the fraternity share their experiences briefly or remain in continuing silence.

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