ALLOWING GOD'S WORD
TO READ OUR LIFE
The term lectio divina comes from the Benedictine monastic tradition and their practice of reading Scripture. In lectio we do not read to be informed, but conformed. We do not read for information, but transformation. Lectio divina is a meditative reading in which we listen for the unique word God is seeking to speak to us, in us and through us... believing that God desires all these things. Theologian and author Henri Nouwen believed that this sacred kind of reading was the continuing incarnation of God in the world.
There are several ways we can practice lectio divina. I find it a wonderful practice for personal devotion, but also a practice that lends itself to be done with a group of spiritual friends.
Choose a short passage using either the daily Scripture reading from lectionary guide or by simply choosing a passage. Read through the passage, preferably aloud. Next, think about the passage for a few minutes in silence
Read through the passage again. This time, consider what single word holds some interest for you. In your silence, as you think about the word, wonder what God might be saying to you through it.
Read through the passage again. Is there a phrase that catches your attention? It's not necessarily tied to the thought or the word in the first two readings. What phrase stands out in your time of silence? What connections, if any, can you make from the phrase to your life?
Read through the passage a final time. Take a few extra minutes to let the passage search your heart and mind. When you sense you are finished, take a few minutes to thank God for His gift of presence and wisdom.
Some people are drawn to writing in a spiritual journal about their daily lectio practice. Others are content to spend this time with God in stillness.
LECTIO IN GROUPS...
I was blessed on several occasions in my life to be a part of a group that came together to practice lectio divina. The group can follow the same format outlined above and then share their experiences with one another.
Another way to use lectio in a group of spiritual friends, is to have one person choose a passage they believe God is using to speak into their lives. As the group follows the lectio process, each group member speaks not to the insight of the text for their life... but the insight they have for the person who chose the text.
If you have a group that would like to practice Lectio Divina at The Center or at your church, please call to make a reservation. Dr. Weller will be happy to lead your group.