Lectio: The First Step of Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina is a prayer method that helps us better understand God by reading and listening to His Word. It is a Divine Reading of the scriptures: the Church encourages the practice since the Second Council of Vatican II. We consider it to be a great way for Christians to grow their faith and spirituality. Lectio Divina has four steps: Lectio, Meditatio, Oratio, and Contemplatio.

What is Lectio?

“Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:10)

The first step of the Divine Reading comprises reading a passage from the Bible. However, it is not a passive lecture, or a quick read to get the gist of the news, like reading from a journal. Lectio is a slow and calm reading of Scriptures, to ensure that you integrate every sentence into your mind. You must make yourself available to receive the Word of God: Lectio aims at seeking God through the scriptures.

The Word is the food of the soul: this step helps you get a taste of it. Lectio is like enjoying a very special dish: you need to take your time and pay attention to every nuance, to every subtle flavor, to be in the moment. 

How to Practice Lectio

Good Posture

You will need to put yourself in a good mental and physical position: find the best conditions for meditation. Here are a few things that you can do:

  • Choose the right time and find a quiet place.

  • Relax your body: take a few minutes to find your breath, it will help you focus on the moment

  • Before starting the reading, you can say a prayer of invocation to the Holy Spirit: let it help you invite the Word of God into your life, open your heart to HIs divine message.

Three Slow Readings

Read as if you were discovering a new place: pay attention to every detail, read from your heart. We recommend that you read the chosen text slowly, at least three consecutive times. You could ideally read both silently and out loud. If your attention is taken by a particular expression or verse, repeat it, let it fill your thoughts. It can be a good idea to take a pen and write certain words, and to try to remember a certain passage that you can think about throughout your day. 

Finally, you can end the Lectio with a small moment of silence before moving on to the next step: Meditatio. 

What Text to Choose From?

Lectio Divina is a method of prayer using the scriptures. You can choose any passage from the Old or the New Testament. For example, you can use any Book from the Bible to read from every day, or read from the Daily Gospel. It is also very important that you follow your own desires, and use your preferred texts, or you can ask for counsel from a priest. You can read from a text you are already familiar with: just make sure you give it the same attention as you would if you were reading it for the first time. Let yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit. 

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