Lectio Divina

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A small group often meets on a Wednesday evening for Lectio Divina, usually at around 7.30pm on zoom. You are always welcome to drop in and join us. Check the parish calendar for dates. On this page you will find some further information about Lectio Divina to help you pray it at home.

For a really easy introduction to Lectio Divina, see Bishop Richard's short talk below.

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"Godly Reading"

Lectio Divina is an ancient way of praying with scripture that has again become an important way of prayer in the 21st century.

Many writers talk about four aspects of Lectio Divina, most commonly known by their latin names:


Lectio

Reading, or re-reading the text. SLOWLY! Allow word(s) to strike.

Meditatio

Meditation: ponder the word or phrase that has caught your attention. Allow God to lead you.

Oratio

Prayer: words of praise, thanksgiving or intercession that arise from our lectio & meditatio 

Contemplatio

Contemplation: just Him looking at me and me looking at Him. Gifted not worked for.

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Recent Popes on Lectio Divina

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 153

In the presence of God, during a recollected reading of the text, it is good to ask, for example: “Lord, what does this text say to me? What is it about my life that you want to change by this text? What troubles me about this text? Why am I not interested in this? Or perhaps: What do I find pleasant in this text? What is it about this word that moves me? What attracts me? Why does it attract me?”

When we make an effort to listen to the Lord, temptations usually arise. One of them is simply to feel troubled or burdened, and to turn away. Another common temptation is to think about what the text means for other people, and so avoid applying it to our own life. It can also happen that we look for excuses to water down the clear meaning of the text. Or we can wonder if God is demanding too much of us, asking for a decision which we are not yet prepared to make. This leads many people to stop taking pleasure in the encounter with God’s word; but this would mean forgetting that no one is more patient than God our Father, that no one is more understanding and willing to wait. He always invites us to take a step forward, but does not demand a full response if we are not yet ready. He simply asks that we sincerely look at our life and present ourselves honestly before him, and that we be willing to continue to grow, asking from him what we ourselves cannot as yet achieve.

Pope Benedict XVI, Verbum Domini, 86

The Synod frequently insisted on the need for a prayerful approach to the sacred text as a fundamental element in the spiritual life of every believer, in the various ministries and states in life, with particular reference to lectio divina. The word of God is at the basis of all authentic Christian spirituality.

The Synod Fathers thus took up the words of the Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum: “Let the faithful go gladly to the sacred text itself, whether in the sacred liturgy, which is full of the divine words, or in devout reading, or in such suitable exercises and various other helps which, with the approval and guidance of the pastors of the Church, are happily spreading everywhere in our day. Let them remember, however, that prayer should accompany the reading of sacred Scripture”. 

The Council thus sought to reappropriate the great patristic tradition which had always recommended approaching the Scripture in dialogue with God.

As Saint Augustine puts it: “Your prayer is the word you speak to God. When you read the Bible, God speaks to you; when you pray, you speak to God”.

St John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte, 39

It is especially necessary that listening to the word of God should become a life-giving encounter, in the ancient and ever valid tradition of lectio divina, which draws from the biblical text the living Word which questions, directs and shapes our lives.





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Some Resources on Lectio Divina

Bishop Richard on Lectio Divina for schools (here)

Pray-as-you-go podcast on Lectio Divina (here)

Michael Casey Sacred Reading (Liguori, 1996)

Dom David Foster Reading with God: Lectio Divina (Continuum, 2005)

Jean Khoury Lectio Divina (CTS, 2006)

Bishop Richard on Lectio Divina for Confirmation Groups (here)

Lectio Divina for Children, an article from Our Sunday Visitor (here)