Lectio Divina

Spiritual reading of Sacred Scripture, especially the Gospels, is an important form of meditation. This spiritual reading is traditionally called lectio divina or divine reading. Lectio divina is prayer over the Scriptures. Begin your time of prayer by asking the Holy Spirit to enlighten your mind and heart to hear God's voice. 

Teen girls praying
  1. The first element of this type of prayer is reading (lectio): you take a short passage from the Bible, preferably a Gospel passage and read it carefully, perhaps three or more times. Let it really soak in. Perhaps pick a word or phrase to which the Lord seems to be calling your attention, to further focus your prayer.

  2. The second element is meditation (meditatio). By using your imagination enter into the Biblical scene in order to "see" the setting, the people, and the unfolding action. It is through this meditation that you encounter the text and discover its meaning for your life. You can think about what this passage, word, or phrase means to you and why you are drawn to it.

  3. The next element is prayer (oratio) or your personal response to the text: asking for graces, offering praise or thanksgiving, seeking healing or forgiveness. This is where you actually "pray" as we often think of it: talk to God, ask him questions, tell him your reflections, and make sure to listen as well--sit in quiet attentiveness and be aware of the love of God. In this prayerful engagement with the text, you open yourself up to the possibility of contemplation.

  4. Contemplation (contemplatio) is a gaze turned toward Christ and the things of God. By God's action of grace, you may be raised above meditation to a state of seeing or experiencing the text as mystery and reality. In contemplation, you come into an experiential contact with the One behind and beyond the text.