Thursday, November 7, 2013

Cantio Dei! + weekly Q&A+Lectio divina

Welcome new blog follower Cantio Dei! That is a really cool user name, although I can only guess at what it means. I sing of God, perhaps?  My Latin is pretty awful: lots of  vocabulary but virtually no grasp of case or tense.

Speaking of Latin terms, are any of you practioners of Lectio Divina? The way I understand it--which is at a very, very basic level, it's a prayerful method of spiritual reading, wherein you take a short passage of scripture (or some other spiritual work), and do the following:
1. read it! (duh)
2. think about it, especially about how it applies to you: What is God possibly telling me here?
3. Pray--talk to God about what you noticed in step 2.
4. Contemplate--stop talking and just rest in whatever truth,goodness, beauty and love have been revealed in steps 1-3.

Now, I don't tend to do a lot of Lectio Divina, because I have a hard time reading only a short passage. I feel psychologically driven to complete a chapter or other major chunk of whatever it is I"m reading. But it dawned on me today that the readings for morning, daytime, and evening prayer are teenie-tiny little things. Unlike when I have an open Bible in my lap, there is no temptation to read the rest of the chapter, because it's not there! So when I have time, I now do a quick lectio divina exercise with these readings.

This morning for example, that little bit in 1 Peter about putting one's gifts to use according to the measure in which they were received--it gave me some lovely clarity about a project I'd been contemplating. It was great to relax and "contemplate" with gratitude, this little love note God had sent me.

Don't know how consistently I"ll stick with this new little wrinkle to my lauds and vespers routine, but I hope it lasts. It will put some new life into readings that I've eyeballed thousands of times over the years.

Now, please, don't one of you experts in contemplative prayer tell me I"m doing this all wrong!

Okay, weekly Q&A/comment  time. Give it all you've got.