sanctum has been using the tradition of lectio divina in our shorter monthly gatherings. We shape our smaller services around this tradition, providing a space for worship, peace and contemplation.
Get comfortable. Begin with a few moments of deep, regular breathing and a short prayer inviting the Holy Spirit to guide you.
There are four phases of the prayer, which do not necessarily progress in an ordered way. You can move between the phases of the prayer freely as the Spirit guides.
Lectio – reading/listening
Read the passage several times slowly. This reading is very different from the speed reading which we usually use for newspapers, books and even the Bible. Lectio is reverential listening; listening both in a spirit of silence and of awe. Listen for the still, small voice of God that will speak to you personally – not loudly, but intimately.
Meditatio – meditation
Focus on one phrase or word that seems to stick out to you.
Repeat it gently to yourself, and allow it to become God’s word for you.
Oratio – prayer
Respond to the passage by opening your heart to God. This is not primarily an intellectual exercise, but more the beginning of a conversation with God. God invites you to be real, to hold up your most difficult and pain-filled experiences to him, and to gently recite over them the healing word or phrase he has given you in the lectio and meditatio
Contemplatio – contemplation
Listen to God. Open your mind and heart to the influence of God.
There are moments in all loving relationships when words are unnecessary, and it is the same in your relationship with God. Once again, practice silence – let go of your own words and simply enjoy the experience of being in the presence of God, the One who loves you.
See Wikipedia’s entry for Lectio Divna for more information.