Lenten Journey: Week 5 – Lectio Divina

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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?

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