Lectio Divina or sacred reading is a most popular form of prayer. This contemplative meditation movement originated in Catholic monasteries in the Middle Ages. Today it is found in books on mysticism, New Age thinking, spirituality, and yoga. It is popular because it can be done in any location, anytime and helps quiet the mind. Lectio Divina consists of four parts: reading, reflecting, expressing and resting. Humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer said, "A great cathedral may help to awaken the human spirit, but it cannot create it. Each person, in a real sense, carries a cathedral inside." Lectio Divina stirs the cathedral inside a person through contemplation.
Read an inspirational text. Jews read the Hebrew Bible. Christians read the Holy Bible. Find an inspirational text. Concentrate on the meaning of the text.
For example: "Come to me, all you are weary and carrying a heavy burden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) Find a passage of Scripture that give insight prepare yourself to meditate on each word. "Trust the Lord with all your heart and learn not on your own understanding; in all ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Meditate or pray on the texts chosen. Words set a person away from the world and gives us perspective. Closing our eyes takes us away from harsh reality, if necessary, and places us in a relaxed and thinking state. This is what Dr. Schweitzer called the "cathedral of the mind."
This is the time of personal communication with God, unscripted and unrehearsed. This is a great time to lament because the bigger your God, the more significant burdens may be cast forth. It is also a time of supplication, asking God for all the needs you see in the world.
Rest to achieve a the time of discernment and stillness in the presence of God. It is during this period that of meditation when people empty their minds or experience calm feelings. Listen for God to speak. During this silence, many people sense a two-way communication with God.
- ['Any style of dress (comfortable clothing)', 'Prayer mat (optional)', 'Quiet room (optional)']
Meditate in prayer may not work instantaneously. Keep at it. Some individuals locate a spiritual director (look for someone with training and insight) to facilitate the process.
Lectio Divina requires four definite steps and following the method is important!