Spiritual Practices for trying times – Lectio Divina


Lectio Divina literally means “divine reading.” This holy reading is a way of praying the words of the Bible. Early Christians used lectio divina as a meditative tool to go deeper with God and these holy texts.

Lectio divina is not a Bible study. It is not meant to trip any of us. Instead, this practice reveals to us what God is saying to us. Often God may be calling us to quiet our racing, pulsing hearts. At other times, God may be calling us to dive right into life’s mystery by providing us with doubts and uncomfortable questions. No matter where this practice seems to lead us, it will always bring us just a bit closer to God.

Go ahead. Taste the living words of these ancient texts. You may be surprised by what you discover!

Get Started

What you will need:

• A Bible (Online works too!)
• Ten minutes to focus
• Patience and an open mind

1. Read the text slowly and carefully. Choose any text from the Bible, but the shorter the better. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Let your mind focus on this one task of discovering what God is saying to you – it’s a high and holy task. Read it out loud. Read it silently. Let the words wash over and enfold you.

2. Reflect on the text. Just as Mary “pondered these things in her heart,” let the words cause your mind to wonder, to excite, to revel. Read it more than once. Read it twice. Read it three times. Read it forty times. Whatever it takes to let the words pierce your heart and sink into your mind.

3. Pray. Open your heart to God. Now that your heart has meditated on the passage, let your heart focus on God. Let God illuminate the words you read. Pray for yourself. Pray for others. Pray that we all may find hope and sense in God’s Word. Pray.

4. Rest your mind. This is when you can really listen for God’s voice. Don’t try to pray or concentrate on the scripture you read. Rest. Peace.  

5. Action. Bring your meditation to life. Did God give you a challenge? Did the ancient words bring new light to a tired situation? Just as the Gospel proclaims God’s love, go out and do likewise.