What is Lectio Divina?

“Lectio Divina” a Latin term, meaning “divine reading” is an ancient Catholic prayer method for reading and praying with the Bible. It can be broken down into a few steps: the lectio or reading of God’s word; the meditatio, or meditation on that which we have read; the oratio, or prayer which is when we enter in dialogue with God; and finally the contemplatio, or contemplation stage in which we abandon ourselves to holy thoughts. Then, as a result of the encounter with God in Scripture, we are also called to Actio (action)

How to pray the Lectio Divina

Choose a short Scripture passage for your meditation, and it is to be read out loud slowly. Quiet yourself and ask the Holy Spirit to guard and guide your meditation.

First reading. Listening to the Literal Sense of the Word. The prayer leader or if you are by yourself will read the Gospel aloud twice. Then take one to two minutes of silent reflection before God. Take notice of whatever word or phrases captures your attention or is meaningful in the passage or in your inner experience. Share aloud or journal, a simple statement of one or two words, no elaboration.

Second reading. Take three to five minutes of silent reflection. Listen to how the passage seems to touch your life experience. “Where does the content of this reading touch my life today?” Sharing aloud or journal at greater length.

Third reading. Take three to five minutes of silent reflection. What do you feel the passage might be inviting you to do? What is God inviting you to be? How is God inviting you to change? How does God’s Word call me? Share aloud or journal deeper.

Then spend some time in prayer over what you received from God’s word, and give thanks for his gift to you. After the full sharing, pray for someone in need.