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Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina is the Latin word for divine reading, spiritual reading, or “holy reading,” and represents a method of prayer and scriptural reading intended to promote communion with God and to provide special spiritual insights.  It is a way of praying with Scripture that calls one to study, ponder, listen, and pray from God’s Word. 

Method: Lectio Divina is ideally practiced daily for up to one continuous hour.  A selection from Holy Scriptures is chosen ahead of time, often as a daily progression through a particular book of the Bible. Using the same time each day helps to develop a daily habit of effective prayer.  Find a place that is free from distractions.  Create a prayer space in your home if possible.  Prior to reading, it is important to engage in a transitional activity that takes you from your normal state of mind to a more contemplative and prayerful state. A few moments of deep, regular breathing and a short prayer inviting the Holy Spirit to guide your prayer time can help with this transition.   

Phases: There are four phases of Lectio Divina.  They are not necessarily listed in an ordered fashion.  You may move freely between the phases as the Holy Spirit guides you. 

Lectio 
Read the selected passage slowly several times.  Feel free to write down any words that strike you or grasp your attention. 

Meditatio 
Reflect on the passage, ruminate on it, thinking in God’s presence about the text.  Allow the Holy Spirit to work within you to illuminate the text and enable you to grasp the revelation contained in the Scripture.  Reflect on how the passage applies in your life. 

Oratio 
Have a conversation with God about the passage, especially the words or phrases that grasped your attention.  Pour out your heart to God.  Allow Him to touch and change your deepest self. 

Contemplatio 
Free yourself from your own thoughts and engage in a beautiful, wordless contemplation of God, joyfully resting in His presence.  Focus on God in a simple, loving way.  Totally surrender your mind, heart, and soul to the influence of God.