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Lectio Divina ~ Monthly Gathering

Readings_June 2, 2022

Submitted by: Christie Iverson

The Reconciliation Committee would like to bring the people of the diocese together for dialogue and common experience.  We would like for us to get to know each other in friendship and develop trust.  This is the groundwork that needs to be done so we can continue to do the hard work of reconciliation called for by the DDTF report.

One way, we thought, might help to bring us together would be a virtual, across the diocese, practice of Lectio Divina.

Lectio Divina (Divine reading) is an ancient practice of reading scripture.  It can be traced back to Origen in the 3rd century, established as a monastic practice by St Benedict in the 6th century and the four step process formalized by Guigo II in the 12th century.  The Second Vatican Council in the 20th century recommended Lectio Divina be practiced by the general public.  Pope Benedict XVI affirmed this at the beginning of the 21st century.

The fours steps are

  1. Lectio (Reading)
  2. Meditatio (Meditation)
  3. Oratio (Prayer)
  4. Contemplatio (Contemplation)

The first time I practiced Lectio Divina was during the election of Bishop Michael Smith and I fell in love with it.  It was a way for me to connect in a personal way to God through scripture. It was a way to hear, digest and incorporate scripture that was very different then I had ever done before.  The process is relatively simple.

  1. Start out with an oral prayer
  2. Read a passage of scripture listening for a word
  3. Silence for 5 minutes
  4. Each participant, that wants to, says the word that caught their attention.
  5. Read the same passage using a different Bible version, this time listening for a phrase.
  6. Silence for 5 minutes
  7. Each participant, that wants to, says the phrase that caught their attention
  8. Read the same passage using a different Bible version, this time asking God what it means to you personally
  9. Silence for 5 minutes
  10. Group discussion on what the passage means to the members of the group.
  11. Read the passage for a fourth time and let the words just sink in, no thoughts or intentions
  12. Silence for 5 minutes
  13. The practice is then finished.
  14. End with oral prayer.

Lectio will be on the first Thursday evening every month beginning at 7pm.  We will be using for the scripture passage, the Gospel for next Sunday.  The whole process should not take much more than an hour depending on the depth and extent of the conversations after the 3rd reading.  The sessions are open to everyone and you can attend as many as you wish.  Anyone interested please email Christie Iverson so I can send out the zoom link.

Hope to see you all there.