At our annual Celtic retreat we use Lectio Divina as the basis for our morning mediation and reflection. This is not a form of spiritual practice that I grew up with but it is one that I have found to be very renewing and refreshing. For those that are unfamiliar with this form of reflection here is a brief description:
This is a very ancient contemplative prayer technique practiced at one time by all Christians and kept alive by the monastic tradition. It draws us into the presence of God and enables us to discover an underlying spiritual rhythm in our daily life. There are four distinct steps to the practice of lectio divina.
Lectio divina begins with cultivating the ability to listen deeply, to hear the still, small voice of God. Get comfortable and clear your mind of mundane thoughts and cares. Become silent. You may find it helpful to concentrate by beginning with deep, cleansing breaths or reciting a short prayer over and over to help free your mind.
Lectio – reading/listening: Lectio is reverential listening; listening both in a spirit of silence and of awe. Read through the Bible passage slowly several times, attentively, gently listening to hear a word or phrase that is God’s word for you today.
Meditatio – meditation: Once you find a word or a verse that speaks to you personally, reflect on the passage and think about how it applies to your own life. Allow it to interact with your inner world of concerns, memories, and ideas. Dialogue with God. Through meditatio we allow God’s word to touch us and affect us at our deepest levels.
Oratio – prayer: Respond to the passage by opening you heart to God. Enjoy a conversation with the One who has invited you into a loving embrace. Offer to Give God your thoughts and reflections and invite God to use the scripture to change you.
Contemplatio – contemplation: Listen to God. Free yourself from your own thoughts, open your mind, heart and soul so that you can hear God speak to you. Sit in silence, letting go of our own words enjoying the experience of being in the presence of God. You may like to write down what you feel God is saying to y