This page contains the
sharings of our Lectio Divina members. Their sharings are based on the
day’s liturgical reading.
HISTORY OF LECTIO DIVINA
Lectio Divina is an
ancient practice from the
Christian contemplative heritage. It
was made a regular practice in monasteries by the time of St. Benedict
in the 6th century. The classical practice of Lectio Divina can be
divided into two forms: monastic and scholastic. The scholastic form
was developed in the Middle Ages and divides the process of Lectio
Divina into four hierarchical, consecutive steps: reading, reflecting,
responding and resting. The monastic form of Lectio Divina is a more
ancient method in which reading, reflecting, responding and resting
are experienced as moments rather than steps in a process. In this
form, the interaction among the moments is dynamic and the movement
through the moments follows the spontaneous prompting of the Holy
Spirit. To allow for this spontaneity, Lectio Divina was originally
practiced in private.
The current resurgence of
Lectio Divina owes much to the reformations of Vatican II and the
revival of the contemplative dimension of Christianity. Today, Lectio
Divina is practiced in monasteries and by laypeople around the world.
New practices have also been inspired by the ancient practice of
Lectio Divina, such as praying the scriptures in common, which uses
the scholastic form of Lectio Divina for a group experience of praying
the scriptures. Though the method of Lectio Divina has taken slightly
different forms throughout the centuries, the purpose has remained the
same: to enter into a conversation with God and cultivate the gift of
Like Centering Prayer,
Lectio Divina cultivates contemplative prayer. Unlike Centering
Prayer, Lectio Divina is a participatory, active practice that uses
thoughts, images and insights to enter into a conversation with God.
(Lectio): Read a Scripture passage listening with the “ear of your
heart.” What word of phrase captures your attention? Repeat it gently.
Reflecting (Meditatio): Reflect on and relish the words. Be attentive
to what speaks to your heart.
Responding (Oratio): As listening deepens, allow responses to arise
spontaneously — praise, thanksgiving, questions, petitions.
Resting in (Contemplatio): Simply “be with” God’s presence as you open
to deeper meanings of the Word of God for you.
Practice Lectio Divina
after Centering Prayer once a day. You may start with a few minutes of
prayer and then expand the time you spend listening to the Word of God
as you feel prompted.
authority are you doing this?” (Mt 21:23)
Jesus did wonderful things, yet what speaks powerfully to me is the
restraint, not the power of His deeds. He had the authority and the
power, yet He waited to do things only when the Father willed it. It
takes more courage to bide one’s time (especially when one had the
power) to await the necessary moment, than to go full speed ahead.
Everything is process. God’s time is the right time.
Lord, teach me Your
ways. Let me learn restraint. Let me always keep in mind that greater
power, true authority, comes in holding back in love rather than
forcefully in might.
“Let the little
children come to me and don’t stop them, for the kingdom of God
belongs to such as these.” (Mk 10:14)
A week ago, I bought my grandchild a basketball. He didn’t want to
lend it to the helpers at home. As I did my lectio this evening, I
invited him to do it with me since it pertained to children. I
explained to him that if he kept quiet and listened well, Jesus would
talk to him. And he could talk to Jesus, too. So we both closed our
eyes in prayer.
Curious how it
went, I asked him if Jesus talked to him. “Yes”, he said, but didn’t
offer further information. I prodded him to tell me what Jesus said.
“Share my ball”, came his laconic answer. “How did He tell you that?”
By this time I was totally intrigued. “He called all the children to
play ball with him”, came his guileless answer, only possible to those
who are pure of heart. I was speechless! Right before my eyes, I saw
one to whom the kingdom of God belongs.
“If a household is
divided against itself, that household can never stand.” (Mk. 3:26)
The lectio today left me with more questions than answers. When I was
starting out a family, I had to contend with biases and prejudices of
my in-laws. It was not an easy task, and it left me with a lot of
resentment. Yet I concentrated on building my own family. Now that the
children are all grown up, I see a number of these same prejudices and
biases surfacing. They have been passed on! How do I put a stop to
this? How can I preserve family unity amidst diverse viewpoints and
ideas? How can I respect the feelings and opinions of my children and
still maintain family unity?
Lord, help me to go
beyond resentments and concentrate instead on loving.
around at them with anger and deep sadness because they had closed
their minds”. (Mk 3:5)
Lord, I pray for an open mind and an open heart that love may prevail
in my life. Please give me the openness to let go of my pre-conceived
ideas, my mind-sets, my pre-packaged value system when the demands of
love ask of me to act decisively and courageously. Let me not be
bogged down with the rituals and laws of what must be, and what should
be. May I transcend all these to reach out in love.
“Hail Mary, full
of grace, the Lord is with thee…”
“Full of grace”… As I pondered on these words, I could not help but
chide our Blessed Mother about this attribute given to her by God. How
could she not be what she is, when she is so full of grace, while we
ordinary mortals are just that…ordinary? How can we even start
imitating her when we have nothing compared to her? As I kept my
thoughts on this somewhat unfair situation, like a flash, it came to
me: God’s grace is available to everyone. All one has to do is to
allow one’s self to follow the promptings of grace. When this is done
conscientiously, every time one becomes aware of it, to be led by
grace becomes a habit and one’s life will naturally flow with God’s
grace. All actions propelled by grace are closely united to God’s
Thank you, Blessed
Mother, for teaching me the way to holiness and for being a perfect
model for us to follow.
“Be still and
know that I am God.”
One morning before dawn, as I was doing my early morning walk, I was
so awed by the numerous stars twinkling brightly in different degrees
of intensity. I was so touched that my heart overflowed with gratitude
to God for allowing me to savor the beauty of His creation at that
particular moment. As I continued my walk, I looked up again, and
sadly, the stars were not that too visible anymore. The bright glare
of the street lights had obliterated their subtle twinkling. I only
saw the full splendor of their beauty when there were no street
lights. Then, the reality of it all came to me… about my prayer life.
The bright lights were like the noise and preoccupation in my daily
life. It was very hard to be in touch with God when I let distraction
and the general busyness of living occupy me the whole day. But, when
I allow a few moments of silence each day, my whole being seems to
resonate with God’s creation, and I am at peace.
Thank You, Lord,
for teaching me the way to feel You in my life by the daily discipline
of Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina.
“Sir, do not
trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to welcome you under my roof.
You see I didn’t approach you myself.” (Lk 7:6-7)
This past week was quite hectic, demanding, and emotionally draining.
There were many conflicting issues swirling around, many deep concerns
that must be brought to light, many decisions that needed
re-evaluation. I believe sometimes our Lord brings us situations like
this to enter into a crisis, that, in the process, we may grow, be
purified, and strengthened in faith.
“You see I
didn’t approach you myself”, spoke so eloquently to me and brought
me tremendous peace. After I did what had to be done, followed every
prompting with love in my heart, left no stone unturned, I brought all
these in prayer and simply laid them before the Lord. Then it was time
to let go, to sit back, to give the Holy Spirit space to work, to
allow His will to be made manifest. It was time to simply sit back and
wait. I know that what will ultimately happen will be for the good of
everyone. I need not do more.
“You see I
didn’t approach you myself.” I don’t have to be in the thick of
things. I simply believe that what happens is what He wills and that,
for me, is enough.
“Strive to enter
through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter
but will not be strong enough.” (Lk:13:24)
“Being strong enough” spoke so loudly to me today. Being on
vacation away from home, my daughter and I find much time in going
places, browsing around, and getting attracted to so many things that
stores have to offer. It is a very tempting pre-occupation especially
when one does not have anything specific in mind. There is always
something attractive one can imagine a need for.
Today the Lord is
reminding me to be strong enough to resist all attachment to worldly
goods, but instead to focus my attention to building God’s kingdom
here on earth.
Thank you, Lord,
for leading me through the straight and narrow path.
“I Am Who I Am”
My meditation has made me realize that if God is the I AM, we are
little “I am’s”, having been created in the image and likeness of God.
Therefore I am by nature loving, kind, merciful, compassionate,
possessing all His attributes revealed to us in Jesus Christ, our
The awesomeness of
being a child of God has hit me like a bolt of lightning as I ponder
God’s generosity and mercy towards a sinful creature like me. I,
therefore, am making a stand that I am a kind and gentle person,
(focusing on these two attributes first) and if on many occasions I
fail to show these God-like qualities, with God’s grace I will keep
trying to be what He made me to be.
Thank you, Lord,
for making me see myself the way I truly am in Your eyes.
“Five loaves and
two fishes are all we have. Then he said, ‘Bring them here to me.’”
Giving the example
of how Jesus was able to feed the multitude with just five loaves and
two fishes, I remember a homily where the priest encouraged us to
offer up to Him our body…two arms, two legs, our five senses… all we
have…and He will work wonders with it.
This has given me a
lot of encouragement in my chosen apostolate whenever I feel timid
about teaching people the practice of centering prayer. There are my
times when I feel very inadequate to reach out. However, when I see
some fruits of my efforts, I realize that truly the Lord blesses those
who give all, no matter how puny they seem to us.
Lord, thank you for
working your wonders in me.
“But Herod said,
‘John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?’
“And he kept trying to see Him.” (Lk 9:9)
The message I got
from the gospel today is…Keep trying to see Jesus in everybody,
especially in those whom you hardly expect to see Him. I am called to
look at everyone as if he were Jesus. Also, find Him as your invisible
companion throughout the day. See Him in your blessings and be
thankful for them…Thank you, Lord, for this realization.