Latin for "Divine Reading," Lectio Divina is a traditional Benedictine practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God's Word. It does not treat Scripture as texts to be studied, but as the Living Word.
Traditionally, Lectio Divina has four separate steps: read; meditate; pray; contemplate. First a passage of Scripture is read, then its meaning is reflected upon. This is followed by prayer and contemplation on the Word of God.
The focus of Lectio Divina is not a theological analysis of biblical passages, but viewing them with Christ as the key to their meaning. For example, given Jesus' statement in John 14:27: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you", an analytical approach would focus on the reason for the statement during the Last Supper, the biblical context, etc. In Lectio Divina, however, the practitioner "enters" and shares the peace of Christ rather than "dissecting" it. In some Christian teachings, this form of meditative prayer leads to an increased knowledge of Christ. [More at Wikipedia.org....]
At Our Lady of Tahoe, we try to practice Lectio Divina in the manner practiced by the Order of Carmelites. We meet on the 2nd Wednesday of each month, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM, in the parish hall. We take turns leading the prayer group. There are three readings, each followed by five minutes of contemplation. After the first reading, we each share our thoughts about a word or phrase. Then we each share our thoughts about a sentence, and then the entire passage. It is amazing what we learn through this process. It is explained in the following 3-page document that we hand out to all our participants:
We're a small group. It's not unusual for there to be four or five people at a meeting. We would love to have more people participate. When we get together, it's very comfortable and there is no wrong way to do this. We also have snacks!
An Introduction to Lectio Divina
Lay Carmelite Convocation
• 4 August
2000Presentation by Tom
Zeitvogel, T.O. Carm.
Definition: Lectio Divina— “The Divine Reading” or “Divine Listening”
by hearing the word spoken — is a discipline that intuitively and
affectively dwells on a Biblical text as a means of seeking communion
with Christ, so as to grow in faith, hope and charity. It is based on
“Bible teaching.” For example, in John 15:26, we read: The Paraclete,
the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name will instruct you
in everything, and remind you of all that I told you.
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Join us on the second Wednesday of each month at 7:00 PM in the Father John K. Bain Pastoral Center (parish hall) for reading, meditation, prayer and snacks!
Join us on the second Wednesday of each month at 7:00 PM in the Father John K. Bain Pastoral Center (parish hall) for reading, meditation, prayer and snacks! Our reading is John 14:1-7.