Lectio Divina

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Lectio Divina. A Way of Praying the Scriptures

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  • Lectio Divina dates back to the Early Church Fathers as a practice for reading and praying the Scriptures both personally and in community. It is a way of reverently reading and listening to God’s word. The value of this process is in the encounter with God made possible when we open ourselves to him through the Scriptures. We will use lectio divina as a way to rediscover Christ in our lives and in the lives of those we serve.
  • At the beginning of the new millenium Pope John Paul II wrote an apostolic letter focusing the church on a pastoral plan for this new moment in history and rooting us in “meditation on the mystery of Christ as the absolute foundation for all our pastoral activity.” In doing so he highlighted the importance of prayer and Scripture for those who wish to serve the Lord.
  • In this same letter Pope John Paul II went on to say this…
  • A tradition begun by John Paul II continues with Pope Benedict the XVI. Every Palm Sunday the Pope delivers a message for the church’s annual World Youth Day. While the WYD international gathering only happens every three years, the spiritual preparation for that event continues every year. This year Pope Benedict focused his message on the Scripture passage: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).
  • The process of lectio divina was first systematically described in a letter written by a monk in 1173. While there are five steps, the number of them is not as important as the quest to encounter the Lord and one’s attitude in doing so. The five step process is lectio, meditatio, oratio, contemplatio, and actio . We are using a communal sharing process adapted from the YES! Youth Engaging Scripture Program, developed by Saint Mary’s Press. Let us take a moment now to understand more specifically what these steps mean.
  • Lectio is a simple reading and listening to the Scriptures. You are encouraged to listen with the “ears of your heart.” Be attentive to any particular word or phrase that stands out for you. You are invited to write this word or phrase on your journal page and then share it with your small group without any further comment.
  • In Pope Benedict’s World Youth Day message he describes the merits and steps of lectio divina .
  • In meditatio we seek to relate the Scriptures to our personal lives. To do so it is important to understand the scriptural context in which it was written. Before the second reading of Scripture, we will give a few minutes for input on the scriptural context. The Scripture is then read and you are encouraged to close your eyes and imagine your self in the story. Who do you see? What do you hear? To whom do you most relate? When you are ready you can open your eyes and reflect on how this passage relates to something in your life right now. Record any thoughts you wish on your journal page. Share your reflection with the group.
  • Oratio means prayer. Here we enter into dialogue with the Lord. We open ourselves intimately to God and listen for the voice of the Lord in our hearts.
  • This time of prayer is private. Each person is invited to become present to the Lord within you.
  • Contemplatio may flow spontaneously from meditatio . Go where the grace of the Spirit leads you.
  • There are no rules in contemplation. All one may experience in encountering the Lord is grace, freely given. We cannot make this encounter happen. It is enough that we be open and available to receive the Lord however he may wish to give himself to us. You are encouraged to simply rest in God’s presence, enjoying his love for you. In conclusion feel free to journal your experience on your lectio divina reflection page. You will be invited to return to your group when the time is up. You have ten minutes for oratio and contemplatio . (There can be background music for prayer during this time.)
  • This is the final step of actio and very important. James the apostle reminds us to “Be doers of the word and not hearers only…” (James 1:22). Pope Benedict also admonishes youth to do the same.
  • Listen openly to the third reading of Scripture and reflect on what God is calling you to do or be and journal your response. You are invited to share your response with your small group. In doing so the group is asked to listen attentively to how God has worked in your heart. We will bring each other’s intentions to our closing prayer.
  • Participants should turn to the Lectio Divina Journal Page and follow instructions on slide. Tonight we wish to see Jesus, to encounter him through praying the Scriptures, rediscovering his presence in our lives. Let us also recall how we feel called to grow or change in order to recognize Jesus in the young with whom we work. As disciples of the Lord we are resurrection people; people who are able by God’s grace to change, sometimes even radically. Let us ask the Lord to give us eyes to see him not only in our lives but also in the lives of the youth with whom we serve. With these intentions in mind let us pray together Discover Jesus Christ the Way .
  • Lectio is a simple reading and listening to the Scriptures. You are encouraged to listen with the “ears of your heart.” Be attentive to any particular word or phrase that stands out for you. You are invited to write this word or phrase on your journal page and then share it with your small group without any further comment.
  • In meditatio we seek to relate the Scriptures to our personal lives. To do so it is important to understand the background or context in which it was written. Here we give a few minutes for input on the Scripture we read. (For further information presenter should refer to Resource 15— Scriptural Context .)
  • The Scripture is then read a second time. While it is read you are encouraged to close your eyes and imagine yourself in the story. Who do you see? What do you hear? To whom do you most relate? When you are ready open your eyes and reflect on how this passage relates to something in your life right now. Record any thoughts you wish on your journal page. Share your reflection with the group.
  • This time of prayer is private. Each person is invited to become present to the Lord within them. There are no rules in contemplation. All that one may experience in encountering the Lord is grace, freely given. We cannot make this encounter happen. It is enough that we be open and available to receive the Lord however he may wish to give himself to us. You are encouraged to simply rest in God’s presence, trusting in his love for you. In conclusion feel free to journal your experience on your lectio divina reflection page. You will be invited to return to your group when the time is up. You have ten minutes for oratio and contemplatio . (There can be quiet background music for prayer during this time.)
  • Listen openly to the third reading of Scripture and reflect on what God is calling you to do or be and journal your response. You are invited to share your response with your small group. In doing so the group is asked to listen attentively to how God has worked in your heart. We will bring each other’s intentions to our closing prayer.
  • Lectio Divina

    1. 1. Lectio Divina A Way of Praying the Scriptures
    2. 2. “ We wish to see Jesus” Jn 12:21 <ul><li>“ The contemplation of Christ’s face cannot fail to be inspired by all that we are told about him in Sacred Scripture.” </li></ul><ul><li>Pope John Paul II </li></ul><ul><li>Novo Millennio Inuente, 17 </li></ul>
    3. 3. “ We wish to see Jesus” Jn 12:21 <ul><li>“ It is especially necessary that listening to the word of God should become a life-giving encounter, in the ancient and ever valid tradition of lectio divina , which draws from the biblical text the living Word which questions,directs and shapes our lives.” </li></ul><ul><li>Pope John Paul II </li></ul><ul><li>Novo Millennio Ineunte,39 </li></ul>
    4. 4. <ul><li>“ My dear young friends, I urge you to become familiar with the Bible, and to have it at hand so that it can be your compass pointing out the road to follow. By reading it, you will learn to know Christ. Note what St. Jerome said in this regard, ‘Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.’” </li></ul><ul><li>Pope Benedict XVI </li></ul><ul><li>World Youth Day XXI </li></ul>“ We wish to see Jesus. ” Jn 12:21
    5. 5. Five-Step Communal Process * <ul><li>Lectio </li></ul><ul><li>Meditatio </li></ul><ul><li>Oratio </li></ul><ul><li>Contemplatio </li></ul><ul><li>Actio </li></ul>*Adapted from YES! Youth Engaging Scripture Program , Saint Mary’s Press
    6. 6. Lectio <ul><li>A simple reading and listening </li></ul><ul><li>Listen with the “ears of your heart” </li></ul><ul><li>Be attentive to a particular word or phrase </li></ul><ul><li>Journal and share word or phrase without comment </li></ul>
    7. 7. Meditati o <ul><li>“ This is a moment of interior reflection in which the soul turns to God and tries to understand what his word is saying to us today.” </li></ul><ul><li>Pope Benedict XVI </li></ul><ul><li>World Youth Day XXI </li></ul>
    8. 8. Meditatio <ul><li>Scripture Context </li></ul><ul><li>Scripture is read a second time </li></ul><ul><li>As you listen imagine yourself in the story </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who do you see? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What do you hear? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To whom do you most relate? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How does this passage relate to something in your life right now? </li></ul><ul><li>Journal and share this with the group </li></ul>
    9. 9. Oratio <ul><li>“ Only the experience of silence and prayer offers the proper setting for the growth and development of a true, faithful and consistent knowledge of that mystery… ‘And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son of the Father’” (Jn 1:14). </li></ul><ul><li>Pope John Paul II </li></ul><ul><li>Nuevo Millennio Nuente, 20 </li></ul>
    10. 10. Oratio <ul><li>Take time to speak intimately with God </li></ul><ul><li>What are you feeling? Joy, grief, fear, gratitude? What has the word inspired in you? </li></ul><ul><li>Take time for the Lord to respond and make his voice heard in your heart </li></ul>
    11. 11. Contemplatio <ul><li>“… .we cannot come to the fullness of contemplation of the Lord’s face by our own efforts alone, but by allowing grace to take us by the hand.” </li></ul><ul><li>Pope John Paul II </li></ul><ul><li>Nuevo Millennio Nuente, 20 </li></ul>
    12. 12. Contemplatio <ul><li>Simply rest in God’s presence </li></ul><ul><li>Just enjoy God and be at peace </li></ul><ul><li>Feel free to journal your experience </li></ul>
    13. 13. Actio <ul><li>“ To build your life on Christ, to accept his word with joy and put its teachings into practice. This, young people of the third millennium, should be your program.” </li></ul><ul><li>Pope Benedict XVI </li></ul><ul><li>World Youth Day XXI </li></ul>
    14. 14. Actio <ul><li>Third reading of passage </li></ul><ul><li>Listen and reflect on what God is calling you to do or to be </li></ul><ul><li>Journal your response </li></ul><ul><li>Share with the group </li></ul><ul><li>Listen attentively to the work of the Spirit in each others’ lives </li></ul><ul><li>Join hands and pray for each other in the words that Jesus taught us… Our Father </li></ul>
    15. 15. “ We wish to see Jesus” Jn 12:21 <ul><li>Our Scripture reading will be taken from the Gospel of John: </li></ul><ul><li>The Coming of Jesus’ Hour </li></ul><ul><li>John 12:20-32 </li></ul><ul><li>Please write this passage on your journal page. </li></ul>
    16. 16. Lectio <ul><li>A simple reading and listening </li></ul><ul><li>Listen with the “ears of your heart” </li></ul><ul><li>Be attentive to a particular word or phrase </li></ul><ul><li>Journal and share word or phrase without comment </li></ul>
    17. 17. Meditatio - Scriptural Context John 12:20-32 <ul><li>End of the Book of Signs; the hour of Jesus will be the greatest sign </li></ul><ul><li>Greek converts wish to see Jesus; the whole world is coming to him </li></ul><ul><li>To see Jesus is to understand why he had to suffer, die, and rise </li></ul><ul><li>It is the same pattern of life for those who serve the Lord </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus understands that it is not easy </li></ul><ul><li>The elevation of Jesus on the cross is his moment of death and glory; He will draw all people to himself </li></ul><ul><li>If anyone serves the Lord, the Father will also honor him </li></ul>
    18. 18. Meditatio <ul><li>Scripture is read a second time </li></ul><ul><li>As you listen imagine yourself in the story </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who do you see? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What do you hear? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To whom do you most relate? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How does this passage relate to something in your life right now? </li></ul><ul><li>Journal and share this with the group </li></ul>
    19. 19. Oratio & Contemplatio <ul><li>Take time to speak intimately with God </li></ul><ul><li>What are you feeling? Joy, grief, fear, gratitude? What has the word inspired in you? </li></ul><ul><li>Take time for the Lord to respond and make his voice heard in your heart </li></ul><ul><li>Simply rest in God’s presence </li></ul><ul><li>Just enjoy God and be at peace </li></ul><ul><li>Feel free to journal your experience </li></ul>
    20. 20. Actio <ul><li>Third reading of passage </li></ul><ul><li>Listen and reflect on what God is calling you to do or to be </li></ul><ul><li>Journal your response </li></ul><ul><li>Share with the group </li></ul><ul><li>Listen attentively to the work of the Spirit in each others’ lives </li></ul><ul><li>Join hands and pray for each other in the words that Jesus taught us… Our Father </li></ul>

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