Lectio Divina - Spiritual Practice
Each week of Lent (the 40 days before Easter) we will be learning a new spiritual practice that helps us grow closer to God. Here is the practice for the week of March 13, 2022.
Lectio Divina, which is Latin for Divine Reading, is a practice that dates back all the way to the 3rd century. It is an ancient monastic practice that is rooted and grounded in the ancient words of scripture. But it is very much about how God is speaking to us today, in this moment.
Lectio Divina is not meant to be an intellectual study of the bible, but rather a spiritual encounter with God’s word, helping us return again and again to a passage of scripture so that we might be opened to hear what God is saying to us through that passage.
Choose your passage.
Choose a scripture passage to focus on. Feel free to hop around in the Bible or follow daily lectionary readings. Once you get a feel for it, you may choose to work through an entire chapter or book of the Bible bit by bit using Lectio Divina.
Choose your medium.
For many, Lectio Divina is most life-giving when listening to the passage. You may listen to your passage online, you may want to record yourself reading the passage aloud, or you may want to read the passage yourself. You can use whatever translation of the Bible that resonates with you – NRSV, CEB, NIV, MESSAGE etc.
Engage the Practice.
You should aim to spend 3-5 minutes on each step, sitting with the text and listening to what bubbles up inside you. You will want to start by sitting quietly and asking God to be with you in this practice. Read/Listen/Engage the text and then answer each of the following questions in order. Read the scripture again before answering the next question. Pay attention to what stirs inside of you.
(1) Listen for a word or phrase that stands out to you.
(2) Listen for any meaning that comes to you. What is God saying to you through this word or phrase?
(3) Listen for what you might want to say back to God. It’s ok to have questions or doubts.
(4) Listen for any change or action you may be called to. What is God calling you to do in response?
Once you are comfortable with Lectio Divina you might try this practice with a piece of Art or something in nature. Ask the same questions and see what bubbles up inside of you as you look at the piece of Art or part of God’s creation. Pay attention to what stirs inside of you.