Category Archives: Sacred Reading

The Practice of Lectio Divina or Sacred Reading

English: Lectio Divina Português: Leitura Oran...

The simple prayer practice of Lectio Divina takes us through four movements, as we are drawn closer to God through each prayerful reading of the chosen passage.

Choose a short passage- just a few verses.

Make yourself comfortable in a place that is as free from interruptions as possible. Begin with a time of silence, humbly asking God to quiet your heart and make you aware that you are in His loving presence.

When you are ready, begin reading and praying through the four movements:

Lectio (READ): On the first reading, simply open yourself to the presence of God. Read the passage slowly and prayerfully, allowing short pauses between sentences. (Over time you will discover whether it is more helpful for you to read silently or out loud- try them both…) As you read, take in the words and the overall flow of the passage. Then allow a time of silence following the reading- continue to open yourself to the Spirit of God.

Meditatio (REFLECT): On the second prayerful reading of the passage, listen for a particular word or a phrase through which God wants to speak to you. You will notice your attention being drawn to something (or if this doesn’t happen, just choose a word). Once you have “received” the word or phrase, begin to silently meditate on that. Reflect on why God would highlight this for you today, ask Him any questions that come to mind, and note things that seem important as you meditate on what He has given you. Remember that the focus is on listening to what God has to say to you.

Oratio (RESPOND)On the third prayerful reading of the passage, listen now for God’s invitation, and respond from your heart. The Living God is always inviting us in some way… to let go of something, or to take up something; to do something or be something… the invitation can take innumerable forms. Following the reading, continue to listen for His invitation and then respond silently or out loud from an honest heart.

Contemplatio (REST):The focus of the fourth prayerful reading of the passage is to simply rest now in the love that God has for you. Let the words wash over you- there is no further need to reflect or respond- allow God’s Spirit to draw you close and fill you with His love, grace and peace. Linger in this place of deep connection, for you are being filled and refreshed for your continuing journey.

We encourage you to take a word, phrase or image with you when it is time to return to the day… something to which you can return throughout the day… something that will remind you of the love of God for you, and the special message He had for you today.

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Filed under Devotional reading, Lectio Divina, Meditation, Sacred Reading

The Living Flame of Love

The Ladder of Divine Ascent is an important ic...

I share the poem of John of the Cross as a sacred reading for the day.

              O living flame of love

              that tenderly wounds my soul
              in its deepest center! Since
              now you are not oppressive,
              now consummate! if it be your will:
              tear through the veil of this sweet encounter!
              O sweet cautery,
              O delightful wound!
              O gentle hand! O delicate touch
              that tastes of eternal life
              and pays every debt!
              In killing you changed death to life.
              O lamps of fire!
              in whose splendors
              the deep caverns of feeling,
              once obscure and blind,
              now give forth, so rarely, so exquisitely,
              both warmth and light to their Beloved.
              How gently and lovingly
              you wake in my heart,
              where in secret you dwell alone;
              and in your sweet breathing,
              filled with good and glory,
              how tenderly you swell my heart with love.

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Filed under Ascetics, John of the Cross, Poetry, Sacred Reading