Lectio Divina, meaning “divine reading” or “sacred reading” is an ancient practice of praying the Holy Scripture.
One of the oldest monastic forms of prayer, this prayer can be traced back to the 4th and 5th century Desert Mothers and Fathers and St. Benedict whose rule of life was largely influenced by the Desert ascetics. Today, this practice is still very common in monasteries.
During Lectio Divina, the practitioner listens with the heart to the sacred text for what they hear being said to them through the text. The method of Lectio Divina includes four moments: reading (lectio), reflecting on (meditatio), responding to (oratio), and resting in (contemplatio), with the aim of nourishing and deepening one’s relationship with God — moving from acquaintanceship to friendship to communion.
In the beginning it may be helpful to be very conscious of all four movements or stages. But in time, one flows through the stages effortlessly, resting in the final stage of contemplatio.
- Let yourself grow aware and present. Acknowledge the presence of the Holy Spirit.
- Read the sacred text.
- Listen for a word or phrase you hear being spoken to you.
- Share your heart-felt response to God.
- Rest in your experience with the sacred text with a grateful heart.
- Opening to God: Lectio Divina and Life as Prayer by David G. Benner
- Lectio Divina: Renewing the Ancient Practice of Praying the Scriptures by M. Basil Pennington
- Divine Intervention: Encountering God Through the Ancient Practice of Lectio Divina (Exploring the Great Ideas) by Tony Jones
- Discovering Lectio Divina: Bringing Scripture into Ordinary Life by James C. Wilhoit & Evan B. Howard
- Lectio Divina Pamphlet