Do you struggle in your prayer time?
Do you have difficulty in reading and understanding the Bible and the Holy Scripture?
Do you have a hard time hearing God’s voice that you feel as if He’s not talking to you?
The practice of Lectio Divina helped me in hearing God’s voice through the Scripture every single day. It helped me tremendously in my daily prayer time and in discerning God’s will for my life.
Lectio Divina, in Latin, means “Divine Reading.” It is a practice of being in communion with God and allowing Him to speak to us through the Scripture.
During his papacy, Pope John Paul II used to practice Lectio Divina on the Gospel according to John every single day. But, many Catholics, myself included, practice Lectio Divina on the daily Gospel readings.
This year, let us make a commitment to hear and listen more to God’s voice through the Scripture by practicing Lectio Divina.
Step 1: Lectio (Reading)
Lectio is not the quick reading of the Scripture, but a slow and gradual reading, sometimes having to read verses over and over again. The goal is simply to read and not to analyze or reflect on the Scripture.
Before actually reading the Scripture, it also helps to say a little prayer like Samuel’s prayer, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” This reminds you that you are here not just to read, but to listen to God.
Step 2: Meditatio (Meditate)
In meditatio, you ponder upon how the Scripture relates to you and to your life currently. This is the part where you enter into communion with God and allow Him to talk to you through the Scripture. In Meditatio, you do not talk. Instead, you listen to God.
In lectio, sometimes, a particular phrase or verse really pops out and speaks to you while you are reading. You can write it down on a paper or notebook, reflect on that phrase or verse during meditatio, and allow God to speak to you.
Step 3: Oratio (Pray)
Oratio is the part where you talk to God. This is where you respond to Him through prayer. You can respond by talking to Him or writing down your response to Him in a notebook. Hearing the voice of God demands a response. Is there something God is asking you to do? Write it down and act on it. This is how the Scripture changes our lives, and even those of other people.
However, prayer is still a dialogue. While you are praying, you can still allow God to talk to you.
Step 4: Contemplatio (Contemplate)
Contemplatio is when all words are dropped. In fact, you leave everything behind and focus on the presence of God in silence. During contemplatio, you remain in silence as you feel God's embrace, as you focus on God alone, as you remain in His love, as you desire Him and only Him. This is when you simply stay in union with God.
It helps to set apart a time and place where you can practice Lectio Divina with all your strength and attention every single day. That’s why most people recommend doing it first thing in the morning. It also helps to wake up earlier before things get busy. If you usually wake up at 7AM, try waking up at 6AM to practice Lectio Divina. Set apart your first hour or first thirty minutes as your holy appointment with your Father.
With Lectio Divina, I hope and pray that you become closer to the Father and rediscover His filial love for you.