Training and Commissioning Process for Presenters of Introductory Lectio Divina Workshop
Criteria for Qualified Presenters:
In order to become a qualified presenter of Lectio Divina to serve the community of Contemplative Outreach, a person must meet the following criteria:
- Is committed to a daily practice of Centering Prayer
- Is committed to a regular practice of Lectio Divina
- Is a commissioned presenter of Centering Prayer
- Attends foundational workshops and retreats offered by Contemplative Outreach
- Accepts the Contemplative Outreach Vision Statement and Theological Principles
- Where applicable, is recommended by the local coordinator
- Completes the discernment document “Discerning Contemplative Outreach Service for Sharing Lectio Divina as a Commissioned Presenter” (see below)
Process of Commissioning Presenters of Lectio Divina
After fulfilling the aforementioned criteria, a person may become a commissioned presenter of Lectio Divina by completing the following process:
A candidate for presenter-in-training attends a Lectio Divina Formation Workshop and Training following the recommendation of their chapter coordinator (if applicable). Chapter affiliation is not required.
The candidate requests a commissioned presenter of Lectio Divina to accompany them as mentor during the commissioning process. Candidates may also request that a mentor be assigned to them by contacting a member of the Lectio Divina service team.
Candidates contact their mentor and inform their coordinator (where applicable) that they are a presenter-in-training for the Lectio Divina Introductory Workshop.
The role of the mentor is to accompany the presenter-in-training throughout the process. Two key cornerstones are recognized as fundamental in this mentoring relationship and training process.
1. is already a commissioned presenter of Centering Prayer
2. has discerned that they are being summoned to serve as a commissioned presenter of Lectio Divina.
Accepting the presence of these tenets, each mentoring relationship will be unique.
The intention of the mentoring relationship is to provide an accompaniment that is spirit led and supportive.
The presenter-in-training is required to become familiar with the recommended bibliography on Lectio Divina. The following recommendations, both books and multi-media are foundational resources to the practice of Lectio Divina:
- Tasto, Maria, The Transforming Power of Lectio Divina, Twenty-Third Publications, New London, CT 2013.
- Hall, Thelma, Too Deep for Words, New York: Paulist Press, 1988.
- Spiritual Journey 1 recordings with Fr. Thomas Keating: Numbers 0a, 0b, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b. They are free on YouTube. They can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBE6fmRmYU8jBXwPJnp9fXnAP5PcQBqQ-
- The history of and additional resources for Lectio Divina. They can be found at: https://www.contemplativeoutreach.org/history-of-lectio-divina/
- Fr. Thomas’s “Lectio Divina Series – Centering Prayer & Lectio Divina”
- “An Impromptu Conversation with Sr. Maria Tasto”
- Leslee Terpay, audio “Deepening Lectio Divina and the Sense of Scripture”
After reviewing and reflecting on the materials listed above, the presenter-in-training is required to write a short reflection and share it with their mentor on how these materials touched and informed their knowledge of Lectio Divina and their prayer practice.
Prior to commissioning, the presenter-in-training is required to have at least two experiences of presenting or co-presenting a workshop. During these two workshops the presenter-in-training needs to present each of the four conferences at least once. After the presentation, the presenter-in-training is required to write a short reflection on their workshop experience which will be shared and discussed with their mentor.
When the presenter-in-training discerns that they are ready to be commissioned and the mentor becomes aware of that readiness, the mentor completes the online Request for Commissioning Recognition Form for the presenter.
- This form is only accessible to chapter coordinators / contact persons and Lectio Divina service team members. If the mentor need access to the form, he or she can contact the Lectio Divina service team leader at firstname.lastname@example.org and a link to the form will be sent to the mentor.
- This form is found on the Contemplative Outreach website under Programs>Training. Please be sure you are logged in so you can view the form.
- The information requested includes the name, email address, mailing address, and phone number for the new commissioned presenter.
- The individual completing the online form will provide their name and email address in the sections titled “mentor name” and “mentor email” and will check the confirmation statement.
- When this form is processed the new commissioned presenter will be recorded in the Contemplative Outreach database and given access to the Lectio Divina materials found under Resources>Volunteer Resources on the Contemplative Outreach website. They will also receive a confirmation of the commissioning by email.
The coordinator of the newly commissioned Presenter of Lectio Divina is encouraged to help the new presenter schedule Lectio Divina workshops in their area.
A presenter-in-training need not wait to practice skills until a Lectio Divina Workshop is hosted. They may:
- Present to small prayer groups as a refresher
- Present at a day or ½ day of prayer
- Present to a group of presenters or facilitators
- Present at a leadership gathering as a spiritual enrichment opportunity
Discerning Contemplative Outreach Service for Sharing Lectio Divina as a Commissioned Presenter
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts
but the same Spirit;
there are different forms of service, but the same Lord;
there are different workings but the same God
who produces all of them in everyone.
1 Corinthians 12:4-6
The fifth guideline for Contemplative Outreach service is: All who provide Contemplative Outreach services do so in consideration of their personal, family, and professional responsibilities, which come first. Fr. Thomas adds:
Those in leadership carry out their service by first taking into consideration their own personal, family, and professional responsibilities.
Thank you for your interest in serving as a Commissioned Presenter of Lectio Divina. We encourage you to enter into the process by prayerfully discerning how this might be a fit for yourself and Contemplative Outreach. The reflection questions below are meant to encourage you to go inward and spend time thoughtfully considering the various dimensions of this sharing ministry which transmits this prayer you love out of your own experience and growth in relationship with God.
Please spend time discerning these questions. Use them to help you imagine more fully how you can see yourself serving the contemplative prayer community. If the Holy Spirit leads you to move forward please contact your mentor to share your discernment process and to begin the next steps in the process of becoming a Contemplative Outreach Commissioned Presenter of Lectio Divina.
1) What was it that initially led you to reach out to the Lectio Divina Service Team and seek to enter the commissioning process so you could share Lectio Divina with others?
2) How has your experience with Praying Holy Scripture in private and small group helped give you a sense of the blessings to pray for to increase your or other’s relationship with God?
3) What presenter qualities are important to possess to share the practice and create a welcoming and learning environment in the workshop experience?
4) What fears or doubts do you have as you imagine yourself engaged in this work?
5) How do you sense God calling you to transmit the Lectio Divina prayer to others?
6) How do you envision your workshops being an extension of your own contemplative prayer practice?
7) Explore your desire to share Lectio Divina, using the Lectio Divina on Life process on the next page.
Lectio Divina on Life
God and creation:
- God is present in all of creation.
- If one is daily growing in the art of finding Christ in the pages of the Bible, one naturally begins to discover Him more clearly in aspects of the other things He has made.
- This includes, of course, our own personal history.
Our lives are fit matter for Lectio Divina.
- Very often our concerns, our relationships, our hopes and aspirations naturally intertwine with our pondering on the Scriptures, as has been described above.
- Sometimes it is fitting to simply sit down and “read” the experiences of the last few days or weeks in our hearts, much as we might slowly read and savor the words of Scripture in Lectio Divina.
- We can attend “with the ear of our hearts” to our own memories, listening for God’s gentle presence in the events of our lives. We thus allow ourselves the joy of experiencing Christ reaching out to us through our own memories. Our own personal story becomes “salvation history.”
Lectio on Life:
- Applying Lectio Divina to my personal salvation history
- Purpose: to apply a method of prayerful reflection to a life/work incident (instead of to a scripture passage)
- Listening for the Gentle Touch of Christ the Word (The Literal Sense)
1. Quiet your body and mind: relax, sit comfortably but alert, close eyes, be attuned to your breathing.
2. Gently reviews events, situations, sights, encounters that have happened during the last week or month in your life.
3. Focus on one event or relationship that draws your attention, being attentive to what you notice.
- Gently Ruminating, Reflecting (The Allegorical Sense)
4. Continue to focus on the life experience.
a) Recollect the setting, sensory details, sequence of events,
b) Notice where the greatest energy seemed to be evoked. Was there a turning point or shift?
c) In what ways did God seem to be present? To what extent was I aware then? Now?
- Prayerful Consecration, Blessing (The Behavioral/Moral Sense)
5. Use a word or phrase from the Scriptures to inwardly consecrate – to offer up
to God in prayer – the incident and interior reflections. Allow God to accept
and bless them as your gift.
- Accepting Christ’s Embrace; Silent Presence to the Lord (The Unitive Sense)
6. Remain in silence for some period.
7. After a period of silence, you may wish to journal about your lectio on life.