Praying with Scripture

Lectio Divina


1. Ask God for the grace to hear His Word. READ the passage twice. Read it aloud.


2. During the second reading, pause whenever you feel moved to do so and REFLECT on a word, a sentence or an image that strikes you.

(You will feel drawn to something, or the words will seem to stand out in someway, or have new meaning, or you eyes will be drawn to them, or your imagination will "take off" on an image, or you will find yourself thinking a bit more about a particular idea that springs from the text.)

3. SPEAK directly to God and open your reflection to Him.

(This is the Oratio or Prayer part of the Lectio Divina. God has directed your attention to the reflection and wants you to share it with Him. In other words, He has "spoken" to you by drawing you to this part of the text. It is His message to you and you need to talk with Him about it.)

4. LISTEN for any response God might choose to make. Remember that God responds to us at times with loving silence.

(This is the Contemplation step. Resting in the Lord can be an important act. We are saying this time is His to use as he wishes. It is an act of faith in his love and presence. Words are vehicles of communication, but they are separate from ourselves. We simply present ourselves in silence, openly, to His love without something in between us. He may just give us silent acceptance, or He may sent a sense of His love, or even joy. This is time to simply "listen" in a nonverbal way with our emotions and with an alert but quiet mind.)

Repeat this pattern as you move through the text. There is no hurry. Let the Word take hold of you.

From a presentation of Rev. Noah Casey, OSB, of St. Meinrad Archabbey. Parenthetical remarks are from Rev. Roger Smith.

A book recommended by Fr. Noah Casey and described as "very readable" is Sacred Reading: The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina by Michael Casey, OSCO. Triumph Books, Ligouri, Mo. 1996. Also reommended, Too Deep For Words: Rediscovering Lectio Divina by Thelma Hall, re. Paulist Press. NY. 1985.

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