Ever Ancient, Ever New: the Art and Practice of Lectio Divina
This page, and the accompanying article by Sr. Antoine Lawlor, provide an introduction to and a simple means to engage in Lectio Divina.
One Simple Way to Engage in Lectio Divina:
- As parishioners gather at a pastoral council planning meeting, they might spend time praying with Lectio Divina. The work hasn’t begun and the group perceives a reflective space and peaceful environment.
- The day’s gospel or other short scripture passage is read; after a few moments of quiet reflection, the same biblical text is read again. After reading (and hearing) the text a second time, those gathered are invited to speak a word or phrase which each heard in the reading. Any word which touched them or which they heard anew is offered without any commentary or explanation about the phrase.
- The reading is proclaimed to the group a third time and again a brief time of reflection follows. Now parishioners are asked to share any part of the reading which, when heard, was meaningful, instructive or formative for them. The words that were heard may lead one to remark about family life, or give some insight for ministry. The direction may go wherever the Spirit leads. As people begin to share what they heard in the reading, and listen to one another’s insights, a spiritual bond begins to form that deepens one’s relationship with God who is present within the community.
- Questions begin to form such as, what is God communicating to us through the Word? What does this reading say to me personally? What does it mean for the parish? Does the Word really function as a “two edged sword?” Does it cut to the heart? How does the Word help us to change our hearts? How will we carry this message from God gently and gratefully into our lives this week?
- As one becomes familiar with Lectio Divina, one can adapt its simple methodology for use by any group, whether for the parish pastoral council, the youth group, or for ministry to seniors. Lectio Divina may become the preferred prayer for each stage of lifelong faith formation.
Excerpted from: Ever Ancient, Ever New: the Art and Practice of Lectio Divina. Antoine T. Lawlor, IHM, D. Min. USCCB: Catechetical Sunday Booklet September 19, 2009.