Printable Guide to ‘Divine Reading’, Lectio Divina

I found this overview of Lectio Divina on Fr. Heilman’s site
Lectio (reading): “looking on Holy Scripture with all one’s will and wit”
Meditatio (meditation): “a studious insearching with the mind to know what was before concealed through desiring proper skill”
Oratio (prayer): “a devout desiring of the heart to get what is good and avoid what is evil”
Contemplatio (contemplation): “the lifting up of the heart to God tasting somewhat of the heavenly sweetness and savour”

Embedded on Fr. Heilman’s site is the video Lectio Divina: A Step-by-Step Guide – from Fr. Dennis Mancuso’s Youtube, which I copied in full:

I. Making Sacred Space and Time
First, we arrange a place so it is quiet, restful, warm, and non-distracting. At Church or home.

II. Quieting Ourselves
We sit comfortably. Breath slowly, focusing on the Holy Name of Jesus and nothing else, until we are relaxed. If our minds wander, we gently bring our attention back to the Holy Name of Our Lord, breathing in and our rhythmically.

III. Prayer for the Guidance of the Holy Spirit
Pray the Come, Holy Spirit:
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray.
O God, who have taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that in the same Spirit we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in his consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Step 1 – Lectio (Reading)
When we are relaxed and in a peaceful mode, we reverently open the Sacred Scriptures and read.
Read Scripture from that day’s Mass. Read the Bible straight through, or focus on the New Testament or the Psalms. Read whatever you want.
Whichever selection we choose, we read it with our minds, slowly, gently, coming to an understanding of the words themselves.
When a phrase or verse strikes a cord STOP and reflect upon it. You may wish to underline it. What does it mean to you? What does it say about God’s love and the mystery of salvation? What disturbs you about it? Sometimes Scriptures are hard to understand.

Step 2 – Meditatio (Meditation)
Now we meditate on what we have read, perhaps even reading it again, visualizing it and listening for the aspect of it that reveals the Divine Mysteries. We want the deeper, spiritual meanings of the words now, looking for how it sheds light on our eternal destiny and on the Last Things: death, judgment, Heaven, purgatory, and hell.
We consider how the Old Testament foreshadows the New Testament and how the Old Testament is fulfilled in the New Testament in order to understand the deeper reality the Holy Spirit intends to convey by arranging nature and history as He did, thereby inspiring the writer of the text to write as He did.

Step 3. Oratio (Prayer)
We ask God for the grace to be changed by what we have read, to come more fully into being what He wants us to be, and to help us apply this meaning of the Scripture to our lives.

Step 4 – Contemplatio (Contemplation)
We rest in gratitude for God and His Word.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *