Lectio Divina

A very ancient tradition of Christian meditation was introduced in the 4th century and used extensively in the monastic tradition. It is also slowly becoming known in the Protestant Church. It is called the Lectio Divina, or literally the “sacred reading” of scripture. Richard Foster calls it “reading with the heart” and sees it as a very worthwhile approach to meditating on the Word. I have found it helpful because it uses Scripture as the focus of our meditation and not the “empty mind” meditation popularized by Eastern Religion.

The Lectio Divina is composed of four parts; not necessarily consecutive steps but integrative parts of a whole process:

  1. Lectio– The chosen text is read out loud, slowly and deliberately.
  2. Meditatio– As you read, stop at a word or phrase that somehow grabs your attention. Reflect on these, ponder them as God’s Word to you, and listen to His voice in this Word.
  3. Oratio– Respond to God in prayer; turn His Word as a prayer back to Him; thank Him for how he revealed Himself to you or perhaps uncovered your secrets; or pray about anything else that this passage has brought to mind.
  4. Contemplatio– Remain silent in the presence of God, in humility and gratitude. “Simply being present to God in loving communion serves as the exclamation point to the meditative moment.” (Demarest, p. 137)

So here is a suggested assignment for the next week; spend 15 minutes each day applying the Lectio to the following brief passages from the Psalms. For those of you who journal, keep track of what God is saying to you through His Word. May God bless you with a deeper awareness of His presence in your life this week.

Psalm 1

Psalm 37:1-11

Psalm 139:1-10

Psalm 15

Psalm 42:1-5a

Psalm 27:1-6

Psalm 103:1-14

2 thoughts on “Lectio Divina

  1. I love it. We just finished The Good And Beautiful God by James Bryan Smith which includes the “soul-training” exercise of Lectio Divina. In Jan we start The Good And Beautiful Life.

  2. Thanks Dave – nice to see you are still heavily in the loop. I get your head page for the chapel messages you do for graduate students but I am unable to open them. Do you have any special tools.

    I’m so glad you and Gloria stayed in the area although I feel totally out of it. It has been 11 months since my surgery and since I have been able to worship out of Windsor. I miss everyone.

    Hope your family is doing well and thanks for all you did during your years at CF.

    Love to you and to Gloria (please pass it on to her)


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