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Rediscovering God's Word

“To get the full flavor of an herb, it must be pressed between the fingers. So it is the same with the Scriptures; the more familiar they become, the more they reveal their hidden treasures and yield their indescribable riches.” – St. John Chrysostom, A.D. 347-407

Scripture does yield indescribable riches when we take the time to read it and pray with it. Lectio Divina, one way of engaging with the Word, is a slow, contemplative praying of the Scriptures so that the Bible — the living Word of God — becomes a means of union with him.

Lectio Divina is Latin for “sacred reading.” This prayer method relies on slowly perusing sacred Scripture, both the Old and New Testaments. Gaining information is not the intention of Lectio Divina.

Instead, it's about using the Bible as an aid to connect with the living God. Uniting our hearts and minds with God in faith is the central focus of this prayer method. Further reading sustains this union. This ancient and powerful form of praying with Scripture began around A.D. 220 and was practiced by Catholic monks, especially the monastic rules of Sts. Pachomius, Augustine, Basil and Benedict.

Although Lectio Divina has its roots in monasticism, it can be practiced by anyone in any faith denomination.

Get started with Lectio Divina: Lectio.AmericanBible.org

Lectio Divina in Five Easy Steps

  1. LECTIO
    Read a Scripture passage slowly and attentively, attuned to hear a word or phrase that captures your attention.
  2. MEDITATIO
    Once you find a word or phrase in the Scriptures that speaks to you, ponder it and allow it to interact with your thoughts, hopes, memories and desires.
  3. ORATIO
    In this third step, have a loving conversation with God. Allow the Word to touch your heart.
  4. CONTEMPLATIO
    Simply rest in the presence of the One who, through his Word, invites you to accept his transforming embrace.
  5. ACTIO
    Bring God's Word to life as you put the values of the Gospel into action. As Jesus said, “Happy are those who hear the Word of God and obey it!” Luke 11.28 (GNT)

Excerpted from Uncover Magazine, which is geared to church leaders seeking Bible renewal. Read the Magazine »

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