lectio divina - t www.thefaith.org.au

thefaith.org.au

lectio divina - t www.thefaith.org.au

pursue the virtuous life.Regrettably, many Catholics are poorly formed in theTradition of the Church, which finds the Scriptures at its heart, and consequently, 4 theylearn it is personally difficult to put those truths into action. We must realise in allhonesty that the dominant secularist culture has so affected us today, so that eventhe intellect and will of the average practicing Catholic is more influenced by thesecularist, relativistic and prevalent anti life agenda than by the Scriptures, whichWhile everyone is familiar to some degree with liturgical prayer (i.e., the Mass andthe Liturgy of the Hours) and with devotional prayer (i.e., the Rosary, novenas,etc.), few Catholics today know the powerful method of prayer called Lectio Divinaor Divine Reading.Lectio Divina is a reading of a passage of Scripture, received as the word of God andleading, at the prompting of the Spirit, to meditation, prayer and contemplation. 5Lectio Divina nourishes the interior life of sanctifying grace in the heart of theSt. Jerome says: 6 7 theremust be an invocation of the Holy Spirit. When theSpirit descends upon us in Lectio Divina, we begin toexperience what St. Paul knew when the scales fellfrom his eyes, 8 for then we too begin to perceive theTruth Jesus Christ.The Scriptures were composed under the inspiration ofthe Holy Spirit. The Fathers of the Church illustrate thisLECTIO DIVINA: AT THE WELLSPRINGOF LOVE AND TRUTHPracticing Catholics are exposed to anenormous amount of Sacred Scriptureat Holy Mass during the course of theChurch year. In her Sacred Liturgy,the Church sets forth the inspired Word of God as the 1 Sadly, thissource of Divine wisdom seems to havelittle effect in the life of most Catholics. Why is this,when the Word of God should shape our lives? 2As creatures made in the image and likeness of God,we have been endowed with both intellect and will.But these faculties of the mind and of the heart need 3But if our intellect is deprived of the light of theDivine Word, our wills will be weak and find it hard to


eautifully by saying the Bride of Christ, that is, the Church possesses the Spiritthat has dictated the Word. When the Spirit opens the Scriptures to the members of 9Whereas certain schools of Catholic spirituality 10 appeal to different personalitytypes, Lectio Divina is suited to all, ideal for extraverts and introverts alike.Regardless of temperament, Catholics struggle to properly balance their intellectand will with their emotional life. In a juggling act, many Catholics fumble throughtheir spiritual life because they give their emotions free reign. Ruled by emotions,they live on a roller coaster, which at times may result in exhibiting moral conductinconsistent with their Profession of Faith. If emotions dominate, people will tendtoward narcissism or sentimentality. On the other hand, if people deny emotions,keeping a stiff upper lip, like the stoics of antiquity, their personality can becomearid, brittle and inflexible, and will eventually snap. Lectio Divina helps tointegrate the intellect, will and emotions, and is, therefore, an indispensable aid tothe spiritual life.Various methods of Lectio Divina exist, but the traditional method was developed in 11 the monk climbed four rungs of 12 Lectio is for all. 13 So, as Catholics seek 14Lectio Divina consists of these four stages:Lectio Reading as a receptivehearing of Sacred Scripture (SEEK)Meditatio Meditation as a pursuitof truth according to reason (FIND)Oratio Prayer as an approachto God, knocking on the doors ofopened to you. (KNOCK)Contemplatio Contemplation aspresence (AND THE DOOR WILL BEOPENED TO YOU)must learn to listen to God in a spir-itof reverence. St. Benedict in-structsus to listen to the Word of 15Only in silence can we hear the 16 17

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