This page contains the sharings of our Lectio Divina members. Their sharings are based on the day’s liturgical reading.

 

HISTORY OF LECTIO DIVINA

From Contemplative Outreach Website

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 contemplation.

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.

The Guidelines

  1. Reading (Lectio): Read a Scripture passage listening with the “ear of your heart.” What word of phrase captures your attention? Repeat it gently.

  2. Reflecting (Meditatio): Reflect on and relish the words. Be attentive to what speaks to your heart.

  3. Responding (Oratio): As listening deepens, allow responses to arise spontaneously — praise, thanksgiving, questions, petitions.

  4. 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.

SHARINGS

“By what 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.

“Jesus looked 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 will.

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” (Ex. 3:14)

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 Lord.

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.’” (Mt. 14:17-18)

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.


 

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