Lectio Divina

Not open for further replies.


Our church is offering this form of spiritual prayer during lent.

Has anyone used this form of prayer, and if you so, how did you like it?

Here is something I found from Pope Benedict on it:

In September 2005, Pope Benedict XVI stated:

“I would like in particular to recall and recommend the ancient tradition of Lectio divina: the diligent reading of Sacred Scripture accompanied by prayer brings about that intimate dialogue in which the person reading hears God who is speaking, and in praying, responds to him with trusting openness of heart (cf. Dei Verbum, n. 25). If it is effectively promoted, this practice will bring to the Church - I am convinced of it - a new spiritual springtime”
I believe it is spelled Lectio (or Lexio) Divina. 🙂

I’ve done this before in a group and I find it extremely meditative and relaxing. I’ve really enjoyed it very much. I’ve tried to do this by myself, and I seem to fall asleep. 😊 But then again, I can’t usually read ANYTHING for more than about five minutes and I fall asleep - no matter the time of day or night.

But it is a very nice way to pray - I can only do it in a group though, unless I want to be caught snoring in the chapel.

Thanks Liza for the spelling correction. I am glad there is a edit button to fix things.😉

Yes, it will be done with a group, so maybe I will be able to stay awake. I am not a morning person so this may be a challenge for me. 🙂
we practice lectio divina as part of our spiritual commitment as Benedictine Oblates. our diocese also encourages and trains “promoters” of lectio in response to the Pope’s call for promotion and facilitation of this ancient means of encountering Christ in scripture.

just want to highlight a new book from Our Sunday Visitor, one of the best “how-to” guides I have seen.
How to pray with the Bible by karl A. Schultz.

only 150 pages, but easy to read and follow, with boxes and sidebars, and great bibliography (very comprehensive). Most of all it explains not only what happens in each step but why it happens, the purpose of the action in each step, and the necessary disposition and preparation for each step.

particularly it focuses on prayer and contemplation, the most neglected part of lectio as many people practice it. it also deals with the pervasive problem if incorporating lection into discernment, and mistakes maken in discernment by misunderstanding what happens in lectio. this little bit alone is worth the price of the book for newcomers and for those who have been praying this way for a while.
I remember going to a bible study and our instructor was talking about it. Would love to try it sometime. I am starting a bible study tonight maybe they will mention it.
good to discuss with your bible study group, as long as everyone understands lectio divina is not bible study, nor is it small group faith sharing with scripture, these are 3 different things, although lectio can be done as a group, and the book I cited tells how.
good to discuss with your bible study group, as long as everyone understands lectio divina is not bible study, nor is it small group faith sharing with scripture, these are 3 different things, although lectio can be done as a group, and the book I cited tells how.
I will find out tonight. What i can remember is it a way of praying kind of like on a personal level with God. From what i can remember what I was told about it before was something about read a verse and concentrate on it keep saying it over and over in your mind in silence i believe. But yes i agree is not bible study. Either way i will find out even if after class. I would really like to try it for lent.
Threads on spirituality forum for lectio divina

how to from Carmelites website w/daily readings

what is it and how do I do it, links to answer those questions

how to, and also from someone who did this with their prayer group
link to the definitive site on lectio divina, article by Fr Luke Dysinger

this last link is the first one to try
In prayer, we are speaking to God, and in lectio, He is speaking to us. To my thinking, the two are complementary.

Unlike lizaanne, I’ve found I can’t do this in a group (partly because I learned to read the text aloud during lectio, so we’d have a room full of murmuring if we all sat together).

One thing I’d caution you about that I was warned of when I started: Do not reduce lectio to a bunch of techniques or methods. I’m not saying that you would necessarily, but this is a pitfall common to many beginners. There’s really nothing fancy one needs to do, and I’ve found that the more I stay out of the way, the better I do with this.
select your passage
for beginners best to choose the daily or Sunday Gospel readings and follow them
prepare the passage - read it through once, with notes if you have questions on meaning of words etc., look up references to obscure topics if they puzzle you. this takes place before lectio begins, even earlier in the day, don’t take too much time, just enough to eliminate distractions from confusing words or terms.

preparation also includes the essential of establishing a quiet time and place where you will not be interrupted. go to the chapel, or turn the phone, TV, radio, etc. off. lock the door. no music that is a distraction

as always when reading scripture, invoke the the Holy Spirit in any of the common prayers, or simply, Come Holy Spirit, let me come to the Word in your light.

read the passage through
read the passage again, slowly, by phrase or sentence, aloud is good. stop when a word or phrase seems to resonate with you. repeat that word or phrase. stop in silence and listen meditatively. this is
meditatio (meditation, chewing, ruminating)
literally, the word or phrase stays in your mouth, as a bit of food does as you chew enough to make it digestible.
when the phrase no longer speaks, “swallow” as it were, and move on to the next section.
continue in this way to the end of the passage.

read the passage through again. at this time you may wish to note in your journal the phrases or sentences that speak loudest to you (not your own commentary, just the quote).

oratio - prayer
acknowledge and express the feelings that arise from your meditation – I feel, I smell, I hear, I sense that, I imagine, – these you can also note in your journal, if you like
most important (and the part most people skip over) is to pray from those feelings, or using the words that spoke to you. first say or think the prayer, then if you wish, write it in your journal, but end with the speaking the prayer again.

contemplatio – this should never be omitted and do not try to force it, to rush it. this is the time God himself implants his Word in you and the communion that is the goal of all prayer happens. Give it the time. Whether or not you are aware of it, feel it, have emotion or feeling of closeness, God always communicates, but not through the sense in this prayer. You cannot make it happen. You can only remain in silence, with body and mind stilled, and wait. no mantra, no chant, no soft music in the background, just silence and waiting.

this is the step most people skip because the don’t “feel” anything, and it is the core of lectio divina, so that is very sad. people who skip the prayer and contemplation, and see the meditation and journalling as the core of the prayer, usually abandon the practice after a while because “I am not getting anything out of it”.

when it seems natural, or at the end of about an hour for the whole session, “wake”, close in a prayer of thanksgiving, and return to your daily duties in the world.

there is no set time, probably 20 min is a good minimum, an hour a prudent maximum. I am sure there are mystic saints who remain in contemplation longer and certainly I can’t prescribe.

do not evaluate the quality of the experience by feelings or what “happened” or did not happen.
you guys arent going to believe this, but if this is what i think it is ive been doing it for years, but never knew what it was. I would wake up and read the bible. Not realizing it but for some reason one certain passage would just like stay in my mind all day. Then at the end of the day i would read it again sometimes a week of this passage would stay in my mind. It was like i saw it forever but something about it is different. a certain meaning. then like a day, month , it varried its like the scripture came to play some how in my life. Or it was that scripture that let me know what i needed to do. Is that kind of like it. Or is that something else. I didnt have time to ask the instructor we just started in the history of the bible. I also think if its what i think it is (Lectio Divina) you couldnt do it in a group, Its like your alone time with God. At least with me. I get distracted alot. Sorry if you guys think im a nut.
eggzackly right
what you describe is what happens
to be fully into lectio divina the prayer and contemplation phases cannot be neglected

yes, the contemplation you describe cannot be done well in a group, and in fact the instruction for facilitating a group advises that time for individual prayer and contemplation follow the group exercise of sharing the words received and brief prayer with the words.

those interested in going further with this also please check out the threads that pop up below when you open this current thread. and because this question pops up a lot, NO Centering Prayer is NOT lectio divina
Not open for further replies.