Tag Archives: Lectio Divina

Exercise 42: Another Approach to Lectio

Background:   Lectio Divina is clearly more than just a single practice.  In some ways, it is more like a philosophy, a general approach that seeks to invite God into our reading.

The Practice:  

  1.  Select a short passage to be read.
  2. As you read, be aware of the words and phrase that stand out.
  3. Read a second time.  When you are through, reflect on the things that impact you.  Consider expressing these reflections out loud or in writing.
  4.  Read it a third time.  This time say a prayer when your are through.  Focus this prayer on what this experience was like for you, and what it is challenging you to do in your life.
  5. Read it a fourth time.
  6. Sit in silence.

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Day 6/7:Lectio I

Sorry for the confusing title above.

It seems that I have a little trouble with advanced math skills like counting.  I had listed 2 days in a row as day 5.  Therefore, the first Lectio Divina practice is actually day 7.  However, it is listed on the emails as day 6.  Sorry about that!

Here is the message from Lectio:


I hope you can bear with me.  This is going to seem like a lot.  It really isn’t though.  This could be the best practice yet.  
There are a category of Spiritual Exercises around reading and writing.  One of the most well known is Lectio Divina.  We will look at a few different forms of Lectio, over the next three days.  One way to approach Lectio is described in the next section.  A natural question, when we think about reading practice is “OK.  Just what am I going to be reading?”  Traditionally, this practice would be applied to the Christian Bible.  There are exciting applications outside of the bible, too, though.
I have curated a list of readings in 4 categories.  Each category has 3 readings.  Therefore, you could stay inside “New Testament Bible Readings” for all 3 days.  You could even keep at the same reading all 3 days; my sense is that you would get something new each day.  However, I hope that you will push yourself out of your comfort zone and try a few different categories.  
To be clear: This list that follows will appear on each of the next 3 days, though the background remarks before it will vary.  Before you begin today’s exercise, you should choose which selection you are going to go with today.  You won”t need to read it in detail yet.  For now, it’s enough that you have chosen one.
One thing to consider, as you decide which reading to choose is how clear the theme of ‘Thanksgiving’ is in the reading.  I chose these reading specifically because they do have a connection with the topic.  However, how direct and obvious that connection is will vary.  The 3rd category– Modern Poems– is probably the most subtle connection to the topic of thanksgiving.

Category 1: Hebrew Scriptures (AKA Old Testament) 

1 Chronicles 16

Psalm 100


Genesis 2

Category 2: New Testament
1 Thessalonions 5

Luke 1

Luke 22

Category 3: Some contemporary Poets
The Copper Beech by Maria Howe

The Lanyard by Billy Collins


The Summer Day by Mary Oliver


Category 4: Mostly Secular Prose on Thankfulness

Ted Talk on Thankfulness

(Note: This link should bring you to both the streaming video and the transcript.  You might watch the video once, for the initial run through,  After this, it is strongly recomended that you focus on the written transcript.)

Brene Brown on thankfulness:

9 ways to cultivate thankfulness:


Today’s Exercise:
1. Take a dew deep breaths: in through the nose, out through the mouth.  Try and fill the lungs thoroughly on the inhale.  Try and empty them completely on the exhale.
2. Consider the idea of thankfulness.  If prayer is meaningful, say a little prayer that God might speak to you about thankfulness through the passage you are about to read.  If praying is not your thing, state your intention to learn something new through the reading.
3.  Read the passage all the way through.  Be aware of sections that seem extra meaningful to you, phrases or sentences which trigger an emotional reaction or seem to be something new.
4.  If you get to the end of the passage and nothing jumps out at you, read it again, continuing to look for something impactful,
5.  If something did jump out at you, spend some time focusing on that phrase.  Turn it into a breath prayer, as we did the first few days of this campaign.  Assign the first half of the phrase to your exhale.  Assign the second half of the phrase to your inhale.
6.  Now, meditate on this phrase: the first half with you exhale, the second half with your inhale. Let this take a significant portion (perhaps half) of the total time you had set aside for your practice today.
7.  When you are ready, release these words.  Take a few cleansing breaths.
8.  Consider if you have learned or experienced anything new about gratitude through today’s practice.