Spiritual Exercise 22: Slowly Honing in Via Lectio

Background: Lectio Divina is a practice which invites us to hear the divine as we read a sacred text.  Ordinarily we pre-select a passage and read the whole thing several times, looking for a phrase that connects with us.

Sometimes this process of searching for that sacred phrase is the most difficult part.  Sometimes, that difficulty might be a good thing.  Today’s practice side-steps that difficulty, though.

The idea is to read a passage several times, but each time to re-read a progressively smaller portion, honing in something by cutting out aspect of the reading that are not speaking to you.

Spiritual Exercise

  1. Choose a passage to focus your reading on.  The total reading might be around 3 pages.  
  2. Sit with your back straight, and relax.  Breathe.
  3. When you are ready pick up your selection.  Read it, be aware of the feelings the reading stirs within you.  Be on the look out for the portion (approximately half) of the reading that connects most intimately with you.
  4. If you get to the end and are unclear about what portion you want to return to, then re-read the whole thing.
  5. When you have chosen a section of the reading (About half of the original) to re-read, take a few cleansing breaths.  Then re-read this chosen selection from your original reading.  Again, be on the look out for a section, of your reading that speaks most directly to you.  The selection you choose now might be somewhere between 1 page and 1/2 page.
  6. Be on the look out for the paragraph, within this selection, that speaks the most to you.  Choose that paragraph.
  7. Breathe, again.
  8. Now, find a sentence in that paragraph.
  9. If the sentence is too long to hold easily in your mind, consider shortening it.
  10. Transition away from your reading material, now.  Say the sacred phrase with each breath.  Consider assigning a portion to the exhale and a portion to the inhale.
  11. Continue this meditation on the single phrase for a while.
  12. When you are ready, release the phrase.  Enjoy a time of wordless communion.
  13. If you like, enjoy a conversation with God about your new understanding.

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One thought on “Spiritual Exercise 22: Slowly Honing in Via Lectio

  1. Pingback: You Are Welcome Here. | The Faith-ing Project

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