Advent is a time to pull back from the cares of daily life and be alone, by ourselves, quietly with God, waiting for God to come into our lives.
—Fr. Norman Rotert
At our Summer Gatherings this year Dr. Charles Rhodes led us in different ways to pray. One of the ways he taught us is a practice called “Lectio Divina.” “Lectio Divina” is Latin for “divine reading.” One of the ways you can use this practice in Advent is to take one of the Scripture readings we use at mass. Fr. Luke Dysinger, OSB, a Benedictine monk of Saint Andrew’s Abbey in Valyermo, CA. gives the following guide to Lectio Divina.
Choose a word or phrase of the Scriptures you wish to pray. It makes no difference which text is chosen, as long as you have no set goal of “covering” a certain amount of text. The amount of text covered is in God’s hands, not yours.
Read. Turn to the text and read it slowly, gently. Savor each portion of the reading, constantly listening for the “still, small voice” of a word or phrase that somehow says, “I am for you today.” Do not expect lightning or ecstasies. In lectio divina, God is teaching us to listen, to seek him in silence. God does not reach out and grab us but gently invites us ever more deeply into his presence.
Ponder. Take the word or phrase into yourself. Memorize it and slowly repeat it to yourself, allowing it to interact with your inner world of concerns, memories, and ideas. Do not be afraid of distractions. Memories or thoughts are simply parts of yourself that, when they rise up during lectio divina, are asking to be given to God along with the rest of your inner self. Allow this inner pondering, this rumination, to invite you into dialogue with God.
Pray. Whether you use words, ideas, or images – or all three – is not important. Interact with God as you would with one you know loves and accepts you. Give to God what you have discovered during your experience of meditation. Give to God what you have found within your heart.
It is not necessary to assess the quality of your lectio divina, as if you were “performing” or seeking some goal. Lectio divina has no goal other than that of being in the presence of God by praying the Scriptures. (Taken from Give Us This Day)
Remember our Reconciliation Service is Tuesday, December 11th at 7:00 p.m. It is another way of prayer in our Church when we come before our God, acknowledging our sins, and experiencing his loving mercy.