Lectio Divina 

Whilst we fast we often make additional time available for God to speak to us in prayer and through scripture. One of the ancient models for contemplative bible reading is known as Lectio Divina. Here is a short introduction.

Lectio Divina has been likened to "Feasting on the Word." The four parts are first taking a bite (Lectio), then chewing on it (Meditatio). Next is the opportunity to savour the essence of it (Oratio). Finally, the Word is digested and made a part of the body (Contemplatio).

Lectio
This first moment consists in reading the scriptural passage slowly, attentively several times. Many write down words in the scripture that stick out to them or grasp their attention during this moment.

Meditatio
The Christian, gravitating around the passage or one of its words, takes it and ruminates on it, thinking in God’s presence about the text. He or she benefits from the Holy Spirit’s ministry of illumination, i.e. the work of the Holy Spirit that imparts spiritual understanding of the sacred text. It is not a special revelation from God, but the inward working of the Holy Spirit, which enables the Christian to grasp the revelation contained in the Scripture.

Oratio
This is a response to the passage by opening the heart to God. It is not an intellectual exercise, but an intuitive conversation or dialogue with God.

Contemplatio
This moment is characterized by a simple, loving focus on God. In other words, it is a beautiful, wordless contemplation of God, a joyful rest in his presence.

 

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