We have made a 2013 beginning, not with beautiful admonitions to worship and prayer, not with warm and inspiring encouragement in the reading of the Gospel and all the Word of God, but with a determined assault on spiritual wickedness. Here in Cor Unum we know what we ought to do. How long might be the list of messages we have heard concerning the importance of private devotions! Our monastery allows us to make those messengers proud, that they may glory in our response to the care they have taken for our souls. Our 2013 emphasis is on the pursuit of the Lord and thus, for His sake, of the enemies that come but to steal, kill, and destroy in our lives and the lives of those we love.
Our cloister is hidden in our hearts, and it is within these walls that we pursue and make ready. Others will see that we have “been with Jesus,” not to our credit or glory, but to His. From here, we battle afar, even around the world and in the heavenlies. Jesus has come to dwell and abide with us, and here in Cor Unum we heed His commandment to abide in Him, His Word abiding in us.
“Lectio Divina” is Latin for “Divine Reading.” When we take up our Bibles, morning, noon, AND/or night, it will become a DIVINE experience, as it is meant to be. Volumes have been written on the subject, and it is practiced in convents and monasteries around the world, but simply put, “Lectio Divina” is the practice of reading the Scripture in the Presence of the Author, praying as we go. “Lectio” is reading purposefully, both inwardly and in battle array.
There is an interesting progression in the 19th chapter of the book of Luke, from which we may learn a little of how “Lectio” works. Let’s take a look together to see how we may read relationally, prayerfully, and to great effect.
Some of those who have been given to us, to teach us and lead us by their example, have recommended that we come before the written Word of God as if we were coming before the throne of God, before the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is certainly a valid recommendation, and it is “monastic,” as our beloved Sister Mechtilde would sure say if she were here.* Shall we try it together today?
Take up the Word of God, bowing before the Word Made Flesh, our Lord Jesus Christ, ask for wisdom and understanding, giving thanks for the written word and the abiding Presence of the Living Word, and begin. Use your own reading for today, or for an interesting adventure, see what you can do with Luke, chapter 19. Follow the action, make note of the main points, see if you see a thread, and above all, read prayerfully as a beloved, obedient child.
We will see tomorrow some of those things that can be discovered when “Lectio Divina,” Divine Reading, becomes for us a way of life. *
* A Right to Be Merry, Mary Francis
Catherine of Sienna,
Manetti, public domain