Lectio Divina

Terry O'Donnell is  offering a series of four, small group meetings that explore the prayerful reading of Scripture found amongst the Advent readings.

 

You may already be familiar with the practice of Lectio Divina. But, if you are not, you may find that it provides you with a new and refreshing way to integrate the reading of scripture into your prayer-life. As a Benedictine oblate it is a regular practice for me, which has enriched my appreciation of the Word of God and its relevance to my everyday life, over many years. It is an ancient form of Christian prayer. Saint Gregory the Great said, “Through Lectio Divina we learn to know the heart of God through the Word of God.”

 

Therefore, you are invited to join our Lectio group on the four Saturdays of Advent, November, 28, December 5, 12 & 19. We will meet at 3:00pm in the Santa Maria Hall. Each session should take about one hour. Feel free to come to as many as you can.

 

Because of COVID-19, numbers will be limited and we will be observing all protocols. 

 

Please book your place with your name and contact details on the form at the back of the church, or by phoning the parish office.

 

Thank you for your interest, and please contact me anytime.

 

Terry O’Donnell

(0430 209 415)

Your words were found and I ate them,

And your words became to me a joy

And the delight of my heart

(Jeremiah 15:16)

Explaining Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina has a very long history, going back to the time of Jesus himself, who loved and taught from the Hebrew Scriptures. The Desert Fathers and Mothers of the 3rd and 4th century treasured the Word of God, as the basis of their prayer and spirituality. Cassian and others passed on this tradition to St. Benedict who centred his teaching on Scripture.

As Benedict suggests, the art of Lectio Divina begins with cultivating an ability to listen deeply to the voice of God who reveals himself to us through his Word in stillness and silence. There are various ways of doing Lectio but we can just select a short passage of Scripture; allow it to touch our hearts; and ask for God’s help to live it out in our daily lives. My own approach is simple.

Like the Desert Fathers and Mothers who used to ask their ‘mentor’ for ‘a word’ or ‘a word of wisdom’ for that day, I ask Jesus for a word from Scripture to carry with me throughout the day to inspire, strengthen and encourage me. Usually a word or phrase from a chosen passage will stand out for me, and remain in my heart for the rest of the day.

“St. Benedict saw Lectio as an integral part of our Christian living….the purpose of Lectio is not the acquisition of knowledge.

Benedict’s Lectio is another exercise in self-transcendence. We are not trying to possess what we study but use that study to help us respond to the presence of God…A loving reading and reflection upon the Word of Scripture is, in Benedict’s vision, essential in forming the monastic as a person of prayer.” (John Main, ’Community of Love’ p. 131-132).

These are but a few thoughts on Lectio Divina. More important still is not only to read about it but to actually do it! Our daily Lectio will support us and sustain us on our spiritual journey, and help us in our daily life.

Much love,

Hilda OSB (Edited version T. O’Donnell)

Sr. Hilda is a Benedictine Sister at St. Benedict’s Monastery, Winnipeg Canada. She comes from a very ecumenical background: with a Methodist father, a Congregationalist mother, who attended the Anglican Church in England. After attending a convent school Sr. Hilda became a Catholic, and entered the cloistered Benedictines in England. When the community became diminished and eventually had to close she came to Canada in l981. Sr. Hilda has a background in Scripture, monastic history etc. and has been a meditator for more than 20 years. She has given retreats and workshops on the Rule of Benedict, the mystics, as well as on Christian meditation. She is coordinator of the WCCM Oblates in Canada, and also leads a meditation group in her own monastery.