THE WORDS lectio divina are Latin for “holy reading.” This ancient prayer practice includes the following steps: lectio (“to read”), meditatio (“to reflect”), oratio (“to respond”), and contemplatio (“to rest”).
Lectio divina allows you to listen for God’s activity using scripture and to connect to God through the ancient Word while delving into a particular passage.
The practice of lectio divina focuses on formational reading of scripture, as opposed to informational reading. Formational reading invites the text to shape you, while informational reading invites you to understand the text. Though both types of reading can be useful on a spiritual journey, the art of lectio divina allows you to interact with God’s Word through meditating on a passage and listening for God’s leading.
My personal journey has been shaped by spending time in the Word using lectio divina. Through this practice, I have realized how scripture can speak to my life regardless of what I am facing. Lectio divina has allowed me to see and hear God in new ways.
– Whitney R. Simpson
Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit
From page 23 of Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit by Whitney R. Simpson. Copyright © 2016 by Whitney R. Simpson. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
Name other spiritual practices that have helped you experience God in new ways. Share your thoughts.
Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eye wastes away from grief, my soul and body also.
Psalm 31:9, NRSV
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This week we remember: Joseph (March 19).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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