For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12
Do you ever wonder what God is saying to you? Even when we know He speaks to us through the Word of God, delving into the Bible can be intimidating.
One way to gain a deeper sense of God’s guidance for our unique situations in life is through the practice of Lectio Divina, which is a Latin term that can be interpreted as “Divine Reading.”
How to connect more deeply with God through the practice of Lectio Divina
It’s actually pretty simple!
1 – Just find a little quiet time and place, where you won’t be distracted.
2 – Select a passage of sacred scripture to reflect on. Personally, I like to reflect on the upcoming week’s gospel reading, so I already feel connected to it before Sunday mass. Any passage will do though!
3 – Open your heart with a little prayer for the Holy Spirit to be present through this time of prayer and contemplation. Maybe something like “God, I offer you this time of practicing Lectio Divina. Please help me to sense Your guidance to the fullest possible extent. Give me the grace to open my heart more fully to Your presence through this sacred time of prayer. Thank you and Amen.”
4 – Slowly set out to read the text three times.
During the first reading, ask yourself the question: What phrase is popping out on me that God wants me to key in on?
Meditate and contemplate on whatever word or phrase that is and just stay totally open to any guidance from the Holy Spirit to the best of your ability.
The second time you read it, contemplate: What does God want me to know right now?
This could have to do with the previous phrase He had you key in on or it could be something completely different, just try to stay in a state of open receptivity to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
The third time you read it, reflect on: What action step does God want me to take?
This own’t necessarily be an item to check off of your to do list. It could be “practice patience,” or “surrender.” Or maybe it won’t be something you can even articulate, it will just be a stronger sense of God’s presence in your life.
5. Just gradually allow your heart to open and sink into a deeper sense of God’s presence and guidance. Ultimately, Lectio Divina can open us up to receive the gift of Contemplative prayer, which draws us closer in union with God.
Lectio Divina even even works well with a small group of people, who are comfortable sharing faith with each other. Just take turns slowly reading the text out loud then share insights with each other.
God bless anyone reading this to open their hearts and minds to a deeper appreciation for the ways you speak to us through the Word of God and also the ways You communicate to us directly through the power of the Holy Spirit. Help time spent in Lectio Divina be a time of growing closer to You and stronger in faith. Amen.
Have you had an experience practicing Lectio Divina as an individual or with a small group? Please share your experiences below.