Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina (Latin for ‘Divine Reading’) is a traditional monastic practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase knowledge of God's word. It does not treat scripture as texts to be dissected and studied, but as the living word.

Traditionally Lectio Divina has four steps:

Silencio (silence)

Before you begin Lectio Divina prepare yourself with a period of silence. Find somewhere quiet and comfortable where you will not be disturbed. Allow yourself to become still, quiet, and relaxed. Breathe slowly and deeply. Invite the Holy Spirit to guide the reading.

Lectio (read)

Read your chosen passage slowly, preferably a few times. Listen for any words or phrases that catch your attention. Don’t worry if nothing stands out immediately – just focus on spending time with God in His word and allow Him to guide you.

Meditatio (meditate)

Reflect on the words or phrases that caught your attention. What is God saying to you through this passage? It can be easy to slip into ‘study mode’ here and try analysing the text. The focus in Lectio Divina is listening to God.

Oratio (pray)

Lectio Divina is a two way dialogue with God. When you have heard Him through reading and meditating on the Scriptures respond to Him with prayer.

Contemplatio (contemplate)

This is a time of silence and stillness. Simply allow yourself to rest in God’s presence. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to stillness.

Written March 2020

Download a PDF copy of the original handout here.