Lectio Divina

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An introduction to Lectio Divina

An introduction to Lectio Divina

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  • 1. Lectio Divina “Divine Reading” Mr. Pablo Cuadra Religion Class
  • 2. What is Lectio Divina?
    • Lectio Divina is a Latin word that means “ divine reading ” or “ Holy Reading ”.
    • Lection Divina is a method of prayer and scriptural reading.
  • 3. What does Lectio Divina intend to promote?
    • This method of prayer intends to promote:
    • A. Communion with God
    • B. Provide an outlet of reflection and i nsight for the word of God .
    • C. It promotes a way of praying with the Scriptures that calls one to study, ponder, listen and finally, pray from God’s word.
  • 4. Origen 220 A.D
    • To benefit from the reading of scriptures one must read them with attention, constancy , and prayer .
    • Origen also emphasized the value of reading scriptures with attention to possible different levels of meaning.
  • 5. Monastic Rules
    • The monastic rules of St. Pachomius, Augustine, Basil and Benedict made the practice of divine reading , manual labor , and the liturgy , the triple base of monastic life.
    • The present form of Lectio Divina consisting of four steps dates back to the 12 th century .
  • 6. The Steps of Lectio Divina
    • The steps of Lectio Divina also known as four moments are:
    • 1. Lectio or reading
    • 2. Meditatio or meditation
    • 3. Oration or prayer (response)
    • 4. Comtemplatio or Contemplation
  • 7. First Step: Lectio or Reading
    • “ The Word of God is read in a listening manner with “the ear of one’s heart.”
    • “ One is attentive to the phrase, sentence or one word that is noticed.” Thomas Keating
  • 8. Second Step: Meditatio or Meditation
    • Reflect on the text of the passage, thinking about how to apply to one's own life.
    • Gravitate to any particular phrase or word that seems to be of particular important.
    • This should not be confused with exegesis, but is a very personal reading of the Scripture and application to one's own life.
  • 9. Third Step: Oratio or Prayer
    • This step is about responding to God in prayer.
    • Respond to the passage by opening the heart to God.
    • This is not primarily an intellectual exercise, but more of the beginning of a conversation with God.
  • 10. Fourth step: Comtemplatio or Contemplation
    • Listen to God. This is a freeing oneself from one's own thoughts, both mundane and holy.
    • This step is about hearing God talk to us. Opening our mind, heart and soul to the influence of God.
    • Any conversation must allow for both sides to communicate, and this most unfamiliar act is allowing oneself to be open to hearing God speak.
  • 11. Becoming the word of God
    • “ The transformative power of the Word of God is experienced as one is faithful to Lectio Divina.”
    • “ The participants explore the fruits of one’s deepening relationship with God.”
    • Thomas Keating
    •  
  • 12. Lectio Divina --Method
    • Lectio is typically practiced daily for one continuous hour .
    • A selection from the Holy Scriptures is chosen ahead of time.
    • often as a daily progression through a particular book of the Bible.
  • 13. Lectio Divina --Time
    • Selecting a time for lectio divina is important. Typical methods are to pray for one hour in the morning, or to divide it into two half-hour periods, one in the morning and one in the evening.
    • The key is to pre-select the time that will be devoted to the prayer, and to keep it. Using the same time every day leads to a daily habit of prayer that becomes highly effective.
  • 14. Lectio Divina --Place
    • The place for prayer is to be free from distractions. This means it should be isolated from other people, telephones, visual distractions, etc. Some find a religious icon to be helpful.
    • The same place should be used for lectio if possible, especially as one first begins to practice it. Familiarity with a location reduces the possibility of distraction away from the prayer.
    • Some practitioners conduct other devotions, such as praying before the Catholic Eucharist, as a preparation for Lectio Divina.
  • 15. Lectio Divina -- Preparation
    • Prior to reading, it is important to engage in a transitional activity that takes one from the normal state of mind to a more contemplative and prayerful state.
    • A few moments of deep, regular breathing and a short prayer inviting the Holy Spirit to guide the prayer time helps to set the tone and improve the effectiveness of the lectio. since the stage is set it is time to begin the prayer.
  • 16. Pope Benedict XVI and Lectio Divina
    • “ I would like in particular to recall and recommend the ancient tradition of Lectio divina: the diligent reading of Sacred Scripture accompanied by prayer brings about that intimate dialogue in which the person reading hears God who is speaking, and in praying, responds to him with trusting openness of heart (cf. Dei Verbum, n. 25). If it is effectively promoted, this practice will bring to the Church - I am convinced of it - a new spiritual springtime."
  • 17. The End Thomas Merton's Prayer MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.