Have you ever heard of Lectio Divina? It’s an ancient form of meditation prayer that early Christians used. It sounds formal and scary with a Latin name, but I have found it to be such a wonderful addition to my prayer life and an effective way to read scripture. Oh, and it is really EASY!! I have 4 kids and it has been the only form of prayer that I have tried and stuck to in recent years. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading scripture or praying the Rosary, but it has always been more of a chore then a passionate way to be in God’s presence.
I first heard about Lectio Divina in my bible study last year. Our leader decided to take a break from our lessons on the Acts of the Apostles to share with us this meditation. She passed out a piece of paper that had 3 scripture readings on it. If I remember correctly it was the mass readings from the previous Sunday. She had the Old Testament reading, the Psalm, and the Gospel written on the paper. We began by quieting and preparing ourselves to be open to hear what God wanted to say to us. She quietly and slowly read the first reading and had us just listen with our eyes closed. Then she read it again and told us to circle a word that jumped out at us. We went around the room and shared our word or in some cases phrases. Everyone had something different. We repeated the process with the other 2 scriptures. At the end we were told to make a sentence with the words that jumped out at us. We were told to reflect on the message. There was not a dry eye in the place! Each lady had a person message from God that spoke to their hearts. All of us sat there amazed! We all felt the love and presence of Christ. It almost seemed “magical”, but God is not “magical”. He seeks us out individually to have a relationship with each of us.
I didn’t run home and try to incorporate Lectio Divina in my prayer life. I just tabled it for another day hoping our bible study leader would take us on another meditation one day. Fast forward a few months and I went to a Catholic Homeschool Conference in my area. Since I am new to homeschooling, I was trying to soak up every bit of information to help me have a successful year. I have been almost obsessive about creating the perfect curriculum. There was one session time that nothing really jumped out as urgent for me to attend. I prayed about which session I should and I walked into woman’s talk about prayer. God knew what He was doing. This session wasn’t about curriculum, but was for me to center myself in prayer for the upcoming school year. Guess what type of prayer she was sharing with us, Lectio Divina. God was speaking loud and clear to me!! My take home message from the session was first to be faithful in my prayer life as God is faithful to me. The second message was to go home and incorporate Lectio Divina into my prayer life.
So this summer, I have done just that. Miraculously, God has awakened me before my children and husband rise. I usually have just enough time to read the scriptures from daily mass, write down the words that pop out and speak with God. They usually speak to where I am right now in my life. Sometimes the words and phrases just ooze the love God has for me. I feel his presence and know that even though life is challenging, He is with me. Other days, God is pointing out my flaws and gently urging me to change my ways. The best way I can describe my experience with Lectio Divina is that I have a conversation with God everyday. I urge you to try this form of meditation. You can use the daily mass readings like I have, you could use Liturgy of Hours, or just pick a book in the Bible. It doesn’t matter, God just wants to talk with you. Don’t forget to be faithful to Our Heavenly Father as He is to us.