Lectio Divina, an ancient monastic tradition, is a simple way of praying the scripture by taking the word of God deeper and deeper into oneself, and thereby seeking a growing friendship and communion with Christ in God. While Lectio Divina can be valuable in the development of personal contemplative prayer, it is also a treasured, time-proven process for communal prayer. Our community gathers from time to time for Lectio Divina in common.
In contemporary spirituality, various adaptations are made of the four essential components of this practice:
Lectio: reading a scripture text slowly and out loud if possible, opening yourself to the power of God’s presence and guidance in the word and allowing yourself to be attracted and attentive to a word, phrase, or sentence that resonates within you.
Meditatio or meditation: a focused effort to bring one’s human powers of mind, feelings, imagination, memory and associations to bear upon the selected passage in order to enter more deeply into the word. In this meditative process, you develop more and more conscious references to Christ and to God by growing in intimacy with the word and familiarity with Jesus.
Oratio or prayer: the stage in which the active work with your mind gives way to feelings deep within the heart. For example, the assurance of being seen and loved by God sounds in the soul calling forth affections and expressions of gratitude and love.
Contemplatio or contemplation: a resting in God, in the silent vastness of the divine presence where God is your ground of being. Here the word moves deeper than ordinary awareness and understanding, infusing love – John of the Cross would say “loving knowledge” or a knowledge that comes by way of love – and reverberating in resounding silence.
“The Father spoke one Word, which was His Son, and this Word He always speaks in eternal silence, and in silence must it be heard by the soul.” – St. John of the Cross