Friday, January 22, 2010

January 22 - Divine Reading

“Lectio Divina” is the Latin term for “divine reading.” There is nothing more divine in our study of the Word of God than to encounter God there and respond to Him in faith after we close our Bibles and go on with our day.

This is the purpose of “Lectio.” Its practice is making a big “comeback” in many circles as lay men and women have begun to discover the effectiveness of the prayerful, expressive, listening, worshipful, humble application of the Word of God.

Prayerful. Expressive. Listening. Worshipful. Humble. All of these are relationships we would like to say we have cultivated toward God. In “Lectio,” we shall.

Today, take the Romans 12 portion we read yesterday, in the first two verses. Shall we pray as we take up our Bibles and ask God to show us what we may see in them, to show us what He would have us see? Then, let us read them again. And again. This, of course, is not instead of our other good Bible-reading habits. This is the training we have undertaken in Cor Unum, one of the slow and steady conversions that we know will bear fruit in our lives.

Now we read again and make a bullet list of as many points of interest as we can draw from the text.

Here is an example, from Hebrews 4:12 . . .

• the Word of God is alive
• it is active, it DOES something
• it is sharper . . . sharper than a sword that cuts both ways
• hmm . . . wonder what that signifies? (It is honest to ask questions.)
• it pierces so deep as to divide our souls and spirits
• (like dividing?) joints and marrow
• it judges the thought of the heart
• it judges the intents of the heart

In Cor Unum, we cannot read over the Word of God to get to the next point, the tag line, the "zinger," or the end of our assigned reading! When one young postulant entered her Carmelite monastery, she was given a set of discourses to read. She set right to work. She devoured them. She dutifully returned them, only to find heavy Volume One back at the door of her cell. She read them all again. Slowly and prayerfully.


  1. I think you meant to say Hebrews 4:12. And I was just wondering how many people still go through the little song.."Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, Acts and the Letter to the Romans...." when looking up something in their New Testament? I have tabs on my Bible to make finding the verses easier - yet I still find myself referring back to that little song. Anyone else?

  2. Thank you, Patty! You're right . . . I fixed it (Hebrews 4:12,) thanks to your comment.

    I've never had Bible tabs, but I did have a TERRIFIC Bible survey course that taught me "addresses!" As a matter of fact, speaking of going back to the things that have helped, I often forget about that course, but it really set me on my investigative feet in the Scripture.


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