In the Benedictine Life, Lectio Divina is a way of life, not just a method of prayer.
Our lives our soaked with Scriptures, if you will. At our daily office prayer, we pray the psalms together and listen to readings. During our personal prayer time, we practice Lectio Divina with the Scriptures.
Traditionally, there are four different steps or movements:
What exactly does this look like? Here is an example:
I am picking out Psalm 23 for my Lectio Divina.
- Lectio: I am reading this Psalm over and over. I am taking note of what word or verse is speaking to me. Say, it is “I shall not want.”
- Meditatio: Now I am pondering this verse. I am repeating it many times. How is it resonating with me? Most likely, it is comforting for me to know that God will provide for me, no matter what.
- Oratio: I am starting to pray:
For deepening of my faith;
For the reassurance that God is there and notices me;
For the opportunity that I can discern what I really need in life;
- Contemplatio: I am inviting God to speak to me (after I have done all the pondering and speaking!). I am very quiet here. If it is helpful, I will again recite my favorite verse, “I shall not want.” This will further center me and call me back to contemplation.
As Lectio is a way of life, I will respond in the way I live. Psalm 23 will go with me through the day.