Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina: 'Divine Reading of the Scriptures'

This method of prayer goes back to the early monastic tradition. There weren’t bibles for everyone and not everyone knew how to read. So the monks gathered in the chapel to hear a member of the community reading from the scripture. In this exercise, they were taught and encouraged to listen with their hearts because it was the Word of God that they were hearing. The Ignatian term is to “listen with the ear of your heart.” Douglas J. Leonhardt, SJ  
 
Each week the Catholic Schools Office emails Lectio Reflections prepared by Sr Hildegard.  Here is an example. To subscribe, email Sallyanne Butel

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Lectio Divina in Community

An adapted process, Lectio Divina in Community, is a wonderful tool for reflecting upon the Scriptures with children. For children, it is suggested that passages be chosen which have a setting, characters and plot.
 
The process:
1.     The teacher or a strong reader reads the Scripture passage reflectively. Students are asked to listen for a word or a phrase that strikes them. After the reading, they are invited to share this word or a few words with the class. The word/s might be the same or different to the word/s of another student. [The process is voluntary, so if a student does not wish to voice a word, they can say “pass.”] The first time the text is read, students are not asked to comment on why those words appealed to them. They simply ‘enter’ the text by expressing a word.
 
2.     The passage is read a second time.  After this reading, students are asked to express a word or phrase that strikes them (it can be the same word as the first time or a different one) and to say why. This time, students are taken to a deeper level of reflection.

3.     Students can then be invited to share how their understanding of this passage could influence their life today. They might also express their interaction with the Scripture through journaling or artwork. The session concludes with a prayer such as the Lord’s Prayer or Glory Be.

Click here for some further insights into individual and communal Lectio Divina

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 Some resources

  • Each week The Centre for Christian Spirituality (Randwick, NSW Australia) offers a videoed reflection by Bishop David, Mrs Virginia Ryan and Fr John Frauenfelder. Click here to subscribe
  • Click here for video of Bishop David Walker talking on the Guigo II method of Lectio Divina.
  • Four-part video series presented by Father Mark Toups
      Part 1  |  Part 2  |  Part 3  |  Part 4