There are four movements in lectio divina. These are lectio (read or listen),
meditatio (meditate/reflect), oratio (pray/respond) and contemplatio (rest/contemplate). These movements are experienced in many different ways today as people have adapted and kept the practice relevant. Essentially, the text is read aloud three times. Each reading takes those participating through the four movements at deeper levels each time. As I practice lectio divina, I ask myself during the first reading which word or phrase particularly grabs my attention. On the second reading, I ask myself what emotions are tied to this word or phrase. How does it speak into my life at this time? In the final reading, I ask myself what God might be inviting me to this day? What might God be saying to me through this text?
|My Community Group at WCC Conference in 2004|
Since this time, I have used this practice in my own personal life and in small groups. The text has not always been Scripture. Often we have reflected on a poem together (I particularly enjoy Mary Oliver) or perhaps the words of a song. The same process is used to take the participant deeper into the text. The aspect of this practice that particularly appeals to me is that it treats a text as living. Each time the text is heard there is an opportunity for it to speak freshly into our lives again. Lectio divina is not simply reading, it is a prayerful, meditative reading that invites the divine to enter the story and intertwine with ours. In this way, no two readings can ever be the same.