Lectio Divina?

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  LARobert 7 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #1738

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    can someone give me the low down on this?

    #8593

    LARobert
    Participant

    Lectio Divina is part of the daily life, and Rule of St. Benedict for his order. Benedictines divide their day between three main activities; Prayer, both the Mass and the Office; Manual Labor, which can include anything from tending the garden, milking cows, working in the Kitchen or Library, whatever is needed to run the community; and Lectio Divina, which is the reading and meditating on the Sacred Scriptures, Fathers or any other Spiritual Book that lifts ones mind to God.

    #8595

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    How does one actually do Lectio Divina? What’s all involved? What’s the process?

    #8596

    LARobert
    Participant

    [quote:2p5jk77d]How does one actually do Lectio Divina? What’s all involved? What’s the process?[/quote:2p5jk77d]

    The process is simple, the benefits are great, but like the rosary or other devotions which start out simple, and can at first feel boring or repetitive, or you can have a tendancy to be a clock watcher to see how much time that you have set for the Lectio has passed. It is only with time and persistance will make the read benefits manifest, as with any new good habit. I use the rosary as an example, because most people at the beginning are more focused on the mechanics of saying the rosary, keeping count on the beads, etc. Over time, sometimes years the mechanics becomes second nature, and you can do what the rosary is really intended to do, to meditate on the mysteries for each decade, rather than counting or the indidvidual actions of the prayers etc.

    In the case of the Lectio, one sets aside a time during the day to read and ponder over a spiritual book,(you may wish to start with 15 minutes a day, and build up to an hour. But try to pick a time of the day that remains consistant, if one time does not work out, don’t stop the practice, just find a better time that you can stick with in your schedule. It could be during a half hour you have between classes on Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays to start out with.) It is helpful if one has a Spiritual Director, who may or may not be the same priest who is your usual confessor to help choose a book or book of the Bible and at periodic times discuss what you have read and where your meditations or thoughts on the text have taken you.

    Two good books to start with are Imitation of Christ, which has daily meditations, and readings. Another older book, out of print, but well worth reading is The Layman at his prie dieu by Fr. Robert Nash it has weekly themes, he also did the same type of book for Nuns, Seminarians and Priests with the same title except the other vocation subsituting for the word layman. Abp. Sheen would always encourage priests to spend a Holy Hour, in front of the Blessed Sacrament, this time can be spend reading and reflecting.

    It is good also to have such a time set aside for quiet spiritual reading and reglection with your children, as this can instill in them the habit of making time for God. If you do this with them, you are setting an example of your priorities.

    #8597

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    I thought Lectio was specifically for the Scriptures. I hadn’t heard that you could do it with other types of reading.

    So you just read and think about what you read? How is that any different than any other type of reflection? :what:

    #8598

    LARobert
    Participant

    [quote:exk5rnim]I thought Lectio was specifically for the Scriptures. I hadn’t heard that you could do it with other types of reading.

    So you just read and think about what you read? How is that any different than any other type of reflection? :what:[/quote:exk5rnim]

    Lectio Divina is a stuctured time of the day at which all manual labor stops and the community settles down into that private spiritual reading. Divina because it is focused on something spiritual, there are many who relax in the break room at work or at their desks by reading the paper or a pulp novel. In the case of Lectio Divina, it is definatly a spiritual work.

    One has to remember that until St. Benedict wrote the Rule for his new community there was no organized form of Contemplative Monastics in the West. Even in the East most of the Monastic Communities where individuals who went out into the desert and would meet from time to time for Mass. Most had not written rule. St. Benedict’s innovation was to have a written rule that all from the newest novice to the Abbot would use as their daily guide. The Lectio Divina prior to Vatican II included either Sacred Scripture or the Fathers, (who commented primarily but not exculcivly on Scripture) or other Religious writings. This [url:exk5rnim]http://www.valyermo.com/ld-art.html[/url:exk5rnim] site is a Benedictine community in California and covers the process in greater detail. Like many communities after Vatican II they reformed their process to be primarily Biblical reading in response to the Ecumenical movement which de-emphasised anything that would separate us from the Protestants, thereby de-emphasis was placed on non-Biblical reading.

    This link [url:exk5rnim]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lectio_Divina[/url:exk5rnim] at Wikipedia (which sometimes gets things wrong) is actually quite good, and far more clear than what I have written.

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