Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina, literally meaning "divine reading," is an ancient practice of praying the Scriptures. During Lectio Divina, the practitioner listens to the text of the Bible with the "ear of the heart," as if he or she is in conversation with God, and God is suggesting the topics for discussion. The method of Lectio Divina includes moments of reading (lectio), reflecting on (meditatio), responding to (oratio) and resting in (contemplatio) the Word of God with the aim of nourishing and deepening one's relationship with the Divine.

A State of Contemplation?

Series: 
Q&A with Fr. Carl J. Arico

Q. recently the conversation with God seems to have changed. I THINK that He sometimes speaks to me out of my own mouth, but I'm not sure if it's just wishful thinking on my part or not...is what I'm describing even possible? Does God ever work this way, or am I just being naive?

Q:  I've been practicing Centering Prayer for a while now, and also sometimes practice Lectio Divina either on its own, or after my Centering Prayer time in the morning, but recently the conversation with God seems to have changed. I THINK that He sometimes speaks to me out of my own mouth, but I'm not sure if it's just wishful thinking on my part or not. Sometimes, but not all the time, when I am experiencing that wonderful, heart-swelling sense of closeness with him, I sense words coming out of my heart.

Why must one be a commissioned presenter of the Centering Prayer Introductory Workshop before becoming a commissioned presenter of the Lectio Divina Introductory Workshop?

There are important reasons why a commissioned presenter of the Introduction to Lectio Divina Workshop is required to be a commissioned presenter of Centering Prayer. The following are the principal reasons for this requirement:

How do I schedule a Lectio Divina workshop or retreat for my church or organization?

If you are not affiliated with a local Contemplative Outreach chapter, first seek permission from your church pastor or minister to host a Lectio Divina (Praying Holy Scriptures) Introductory Program (this program consists of the introductory workshop to Lectio Divina and six follow-up sessions). Then, contact the nearest chapter coordinator in your area and collaborate with the coordinator to present the introductory program. If there is not a chapter in your area, contact the regional representative listed for your region to assist in planning the program.

How does the practice of Lectio Divina in a Centering Prayer group differ from the private practice of Lectio Divina?

Lectio Divina is primarily a private prayer. It is a way of praying the Scriptures. When prayed privately, the movements of the prayer are free-flowing, responding to the movements of the Spirit within. However, Lectio Divina can be adapted to a group setting. The primary difference is that the facilitator moves the group through the different moments as a group.  A prayer group leader can lead a Lectio Divina session, provided they have a basic understanding of the format of the Lectio Divina method. Another difference could be faith sharing.