Part 5: Lectio Divina (Spiritual Reading)

This material was developed by practicingtheway.org. Visit their website for more information. 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Practice

 

Having established a time and place that are both quiet and free from distraction, set aside 3-5 times this week to practice lectio divina

Any passage of Scripture can be utilized for the practice of lectio divine. Here are a few suggestions with which to start:

 

  • Psalm 23

  • Psalm 100

  • John 15v1-17

  • Romans 12

 

After selecting one passage, read and move slowly through each of the five movements of spiritual reading.

 

  1. Prepare to meet with God: Turn your phone off and leave it another room. Situate yourself comfortably in a quiet, solitary place. Calm your body and quiet your mind before God as you work to prepare your heart to receive what God has spoken, and to respond accordingly. Finally, invite the Holy Spirit to guide your thinking and feeling as you read.

  2. Read (lectio): Read the passage slowly and carefully. Take your time. As you move through the text, pay close attention to what words and ideas draw your attention in unique ways. When your focus is drawn to a particular word or thought, pause momentarily to reflect on them with specificity.

  3. Reflect (mediatio): Upon completing the passage, return to the beginning and read again. On your second journey through the text, allow the text to connect with you personally. Which words or phrases assume a particular resonance with your heart, your season of life, your person in this moment. Posit the following questions: What do I need to know, or be, or do in light of the text? What does this mean for my life today?

  4. Respond (oratio): Talk to God about your experience. 

  5. Rest (contemplatio): Pause to sit in God’s presence before fleeing from the moment. You might express wonder, awe, gratitude, or praise through words, or you might allow yourself to feel and experience these things quietly before God.