a spiritual practice that has deepened the spiritual lives of monastics and others for centuries
Suspend Disbelief: Some Assumptions to Engage
Let us assume:
… a holy or sacred presence exists both within and beyond ourselves
… while this presence is called by various names, no name can adequately describe this mystery. Though people have their preferences, no name is better than another
…our lives are deeper, richer when we are open to this presence
… this presence presents us with invitations and “leadings” that we may or may not hear or heed
… through a variety of practices and disciplines people though the ages have felt closer and more aligned with this presence.
… we deepen our religious journey by developing and following spiritual practices or disciplines.
Guidelines for Lectio Divina in a Group
- As we share our experiences, receive what is being said contemplatively, listening for how the Mystery might be addressing you through another’s words. The Mystery is experienced within community as well as through a sacred text.
- Remember we are not gathered to fix, advise, debate or assess one another, but to support each other in our individual journeys.
- Remember that everything shared in the group is confidential.
- Be aware of balancing the use of time so that all have an opportunity to speak.
- Everyone is also free not to speak.
The Process of Lectio Divina in a Group:
- The passage is read loud the first time in an unhurried way.
- Listen for a word or phrase that shimmers, beckons, disturbs you, grabs or touches you.
- Each person speaks that word or phrase aloud one at a time. Let this be a slow movement, with spacious time between the speaking. Speak when you are moved to.
- The passage is read aloud a second time.
- Figure out what feeling or image comes up for you with the word or phrase you spoke
- Each person in the group briefly states his or her feeling/image allowing for silence.
- The passage is read a third time.
- Attend to the way this word/phrase, feeling/image connects with the context and situation of your life. How does it relate to what you saw or did today? How does it connect with your experience at home, at school, in your free time, in your community, the world, in nature? Are you being called to anything in your present circumstances?
- Sit quietly and contemplate. You may write down thoughts as they come to you.
- Share with the group what you have discovered. Allow for silence.
- Close with silence and a final reading of the passage.