What is the Lectio Divina?

I once called Lectio Divina my greatest teaching gift. To be clear it’s not a gift I am giving, it is something that I am simply passing along. Lectio Divina is Latin for “divine reading,” “spiritual reading,” or “holy reading” and represents a method of prayer and scriptural reading intended to promote communion with God and provide special spiritual insights. The principles of Lectio Divina were expressed around the year 220 and later practiced by Catholic monks, especially the monastic rules of Sts. Pachomius, Augustine, Basil, and Benedict.

How does one practice Lectio Divina?

There are four distinct parts to Lection Divina which include reading, meditation, prayer, and contemplation.

  1. Lectio (reading) involves the slow repetitive reading of a single text, generally a minimum of three times. There is an extended pause between each reading allowing for the listener to unveil the deeper meaning of each particular word or phrase seeking God’s ultimate truth within the scripture.
  2. Meditatio (meditation) occurs after the reading and is a period of self-reflection on how the scripture applies to one’s own life and the deeper personal meaning being communicated by God.
  3. Oratio (prayer) speaking or communing with God on how the scripture is meaningful and impactful in one’s own life also asking for the ability to be made aware of any still yet hidden applications of the scripture and how they may be applied in one’s life.
  4. Contemplatio (contemplation) is the ongoing active meditation of the scripture in one’s daily life looking for ways its meaning may be further expressed in our daily interactions.

Daily Challenge

Select a verse or phrase from one of your favorite sacred texts and practice Lectio Divina with it. Take note of how your interpretation of the text changes from the initial reading to the last. After meditating in what ways is the text applicable to your life or current circumstances? After prayer and contemplation document the manner in which the text was relevant to your daily life. Please share your feedback in the comments.

Peace and love,
The Meditation Guy