Praying Lectio Divina

A Way to Read and Pray with Sunday’s Scriptures

During the weekdays, take the readings from this coming Sunday’s lectionary, and practice Lectio Divina with one or more of the lessons. Lectio Divina means “Divine Reading.”
This method comes from our Benedictine traditions. It has been adapted a bit for this exercise.
This is not intended as a four-step linear process, but rather as a movement between states of consciousness. Let your practice move naturally back and forth through these moments.

I. Lectio

Reading Deeply

Expand your sense of consciousness and focus your attention. Read one of the scripture passages in such a way to you can hear the words deeply. Let God’s speaking to you through these words. Slowly read, listening deeply. If you get distracted, go back to where you were. Hear what the scripture is saying. As you are reading, listen with your “third ear” and see with your “third eye.” What catches your attention? What causes you to think or to wonder?

II. Meditatio

Thinking Deeply

Take whatever caught your attention from your reading and think deeply and actively about it. Why did this catch my attention? What does it mean? How does it connect to the rest of the scripture and tradition? What did it mean to the first readers/listeners? Why is this important? What is it saying? Think actively and energetically. As you are thinking, listen with your “third ear” and see with your “third eye.” Notice if something moves you. Be aware if you have feelings or emotional content around something.

III. Oratio

The Prayer of the Heart

If you heart is moved or your emotions touched, go with the feelings. Let the emotional content of your thought explode into prayer. Speak to God with your heart. Let your deepest center be drawn into prayer. Offer whatever comes to Christ. Let your love speak. While you are praying, listen with your “third ear” and see with your “third eye.” If your words of love begin to descend into love, let go of words, let go of thoughts, let go of emotions.

IV. Contemplatio

Rest

Fall into love, into the silence, into the dazzling darkness that is beyond thought and feeling. Just be. And even let go of being, into the all. Let God be all. All is God and God is all. Rest.


 

As you find your consciousness moving in and out of each of these moments, return to reading or thinking or feeling as seems best to you.
When your time is over, pick a brief passage or thought that may focus the content of your prayer time. Memorize or copy that thought; carry it with you during the day, and recall it from time to time. See how your prayer reveals something about what happens during you day.
If you have time, you might journal a bit about what happened during your prayer. Feel free to offer your thoughts at our scripture blog: http://sundayscriptures.blogspot.com

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