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Lectio Divina “Sacred Reading”

Lectio Divina, holy reading or divine reading, is a method of combining Scripture and prayer. By choosing a small portion of scripture, the reader concentrates on hearing what this Scripture is saying to him/her. Scripture is relevant to our lives today and Lectio Divina is a way to slow down, savor and meditate on the Word of God. Lectio is not an emptying of the mind so that we can have a mystical experience with God, but rather a way to put our distractions aside and concentrate on God and God’s word.

Lectio Divina is an activity well suited to small groups, but can be done individually. Typically, the reader relaxes and takes several deep breathes. Using a sacred word such as love, peace, hope, or Jesus will help center our hearts and keep distractions from taking over our inner conversation.

There are generally four movements in Lectio Divina:

Lectio – Reading the Bible passage gently and slowly several times. The passage itself is not as important as the savoring of each portion of the reading, constantly listening for the word or phrase that somehow speaks to the reader.

Meditatio – Reflecting on the passage and thinking about how it applies to one’s own life. This is considered to be a very personal reading of the Scripture and very personal application.

Oratio – Responding to the passage by opening our heart to God. This opening can take the form of prayer.

Contemplatio – A time of simply being with God without prayer or agenda. This is a good time to listen for any impression or God’s “small, still voice.”


A time of journal keeping after Lectio helps the reader remember and process the experience. These questions are helpful:

·        Where did I sense God’s presence?

·        Where did I feel apart from God’s presence?

·        Was any part of the Lectio difficult? Why?

·        Did you gain any insights into the Scripture as it relates to your life?

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