Re-posted from: Community of Christ – Lenten Practices
The practice of lectio divina (Latin for sacred reading) provides opportunity for encountering God through sacred text. Listening deeply to the words opens us to an awareness of God’s invitation to us through a particular scripture passage or hymn text. Live in the questions and see how they begin to shape your journey of repentance and renewal.
- Begin by selecting a passage of scripture or hymn text. Sit comfortably and enter a time of prayerful reflection. Relax your body and breathing and offer a prayer for guidance as you interact with the text.
- Read the text four times, allowing time for meditation and prayer between each reading. (In a group setting, remind the group what the instructions are for praying with the text through lectio, meditatio, oratio, or contemplatio as you proceed.)
Lectio—read the text to get a sense for the story or setting. Imagine the scene, senses, emotions, and tensions involved in the text.
Meditatio—read the text again to focus on meaning and understanding. What are the surface and underlying meanings? What does the text tell you about God? How do you relate to the text?
Oratio—read the text again to focus on your emotional response. Do you feel joy, sorrow, fear, anger, or guilt? Share your feelings with God in prayer. Ask for help in listening deeply to these emotions and meanings.
Contemplatio—continue in a time of receptive prayer. Breathe deeply and calmly, entering a profound silent state of listening. Wait for whatever God may bring to you in the quietness. Record in a journal any impressions or insights that come to you and then return to receptive listening. If no particular awareness comes, let your mind return to the text. When you feel your prayer and meditation has ended, offer a word of thanks to God to close your time with this practice.
|Hymn for Reflection“How Long, O God, How Long?” CCS 455|
For use during Lent, you may select a passage of scripture (such as Isaiah 58:6–9 or Doctrine and Covenants 163:2b) or hymn text (such as CCS 455). If using “How Long, O God, How Long?” CCS 455, you may choose to focus on all verses each day, or you may choose to focus on a different verse each day. Pay attention to the questions that come to you as you engage in this practice. Live in the questions and see how they begin to shape your journey of repentance and renewal.
Questions for Reflection
- As you engage in this practice over several days, what layers of meaning begin to unfold?
- As you engage with a particular text, how are you being led to actions of social justice?