Lectio Divina (translated as divine or sacred reading) is a spiritual practice that weaves together reading, prayer, and meditation. It trains us to savor the words, images, and ideas embedded in short passages of scripture and thereby to hear God anew. It slows us down and renews us spiritually. Lectio divina also fosters openness and receptivity in our relationships with God and all living things, including ourselves.
In preparation, choose a comfortable and quiet place to read and pray—a place that you can return to for this and other meditative practices. You may want to light a candle or place a particular memento nearby in order to ritualize this space and time. In some ways, this will train your mind to calm itself when you return to this space again.
To begin, choose a short passage of scripture, preferably a few verses and invite God to speak to you. Take time to move through these phases:
Lectio (read): read the passage aloud in a slow, meditative manner. Do not rush. Savor each word. Take time to notice any words, phrases, ideas, or images that stand out to you. These might emerge directly or indirectly from the text.
Meditatio (meditate): read through the passage a second time, again without any rushing. Notice what images, phrases, words, or ideas pose themselves to you. Silently mediate on whatever has come to mind. If your mind wanders elsewhere, gently bring yourself back to the present moment.
Oratio (pray): bring those particular words, phrases, images, or ideas in God to prayer. Speak honestly and authentically to God.
Contemplatio (contemplate): take what you have received from this practice into the rest of your day. Return to the word, phrase, idea, or image that you have received. Continue to meditate and pray about it. Open yourself to any sort of action that you might be promoted to take in response.
If you are looking for some scripture passages, we recommend:
** Note that we recommend 6 verses or fewer for most lectio divina