“Lectio Divina”, a Latin term, means “divine reading” and describes a way of reading the Scriptures whereby we gradually let go of our own agenda and open ourselves to what God wants to say to us. In the 12th century, a Carthusian monk called Guigo, described the stages which he saw as essential to the practice of Lectio Divina. There are various ways of practicing Lectio Divina:
Here is a video describing the stages of practicing this form of prayer:
A simple guide for your prayer:
Begin your reflection with an invocation to the Holy Spirit and with other opening prayers, hymns, and canticles appropriate for the season.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful. Enkindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And you will renew the face of the earth.
O Lord who by the light of the Holy Spirit, Did instruct the hearts of your faithful.
Grant that by that same spirit, We may be truly wise
And ever enjoy your consolation. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Proclaim the Gospel passage. Silently reflect upon the Scriptural text.
In prayer, meditate on the selected passage using the following questions:
• Examine the context of the passage: Who is in the text? Where? When? What is happening?
• What phrase, words, images, or ideas stay with me as I reflect on this passage?
• What thoughts, ideas, or images in this passage make me feel uncomfortable? Why?
• What can I do to make this gospel passage come true in my life? In my community?
• What in this passage gives me hope and joy? Why?
These questions may be used for personal meditation and/or for small group reflection.
CONTEMPLATION and DIALOGUE
In prayerful contemplation, continue to reflect on the scriptural passage and questions. Open your heart to the powerful presence of God. Within a small group, this personal and private contemplation moves to communal reflection and dialogue.
Prayerful reflection on the Word of God moves us to personal and communal conversion and discernment for action. The “hope” empowers us to bring this discernment to life.
Prayer completes the movement of the scriptural reflection. This prayer may be formal or spontaneous and may include petitions and prayers of thanksgiving.