Tuesday, October 9, 2012

God is Calling Me

As we begin our "Lectio Day," I realize that I'm making things terribly complicated.  "I don't know enough about this topic," I decide.  Oh, I know the basic steps of lectio (I remind myself), I can recite the "rungs of the ladder." But what if I get them confused, or don't say enough about them, or say too much, or don't quote the wisest experts.....?

It's okay.  Perhaps one of the first fruits of this, for me, is happening right now, right at the outset, even as I write these words onscreen.

It's okay.

This is God's work, not mine.  He is the One inviting us to open His Word and begin to read.  As we do so, He will take it from there.   He is calling me, He is calling you.  Each one, individually.

He is reaching out to touch my heart. 

Often those in a monastery practice Lectio Divina early in the morning.  We will do that.  We'll also practice it at midday and in the afternoon and at night.. for this is our "Lectio Day."

Begin simply, I feel Him "tell" me.  And so I am going to start with an approach I'm personally very comfortable with, and which is outlined quite nicely in the quote below from Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington.  I might post (briefly) several times a day as we begin this and as I get "acclimated" to the process, so check back when you can!  The more we keep this in the forefront of our minds, the more it will affect our daily routines.  In cloistered heart terminology:  we will be keeping the grille (of scripture) before our eyes.

I will include a few Scripture suggestions at the end of this post... but we can use whatever we wish.   Cardinal Wuerl suggests using the readings of the day.  We will trust God to direct each of us, for He knows our hearts.

Ready to get going?  Here is what Cardinal Donald Wuerl has to say at his diocesan website ( http://cardinalsblog.adw.org/2012/07/lectio-divina/ ) . I shall trust that he would not mind my putting his words directly on this blog, in order to keep us from getting too distracted.

"Choose a text of Sacred Scripture for your prayer. Taking the Gospel passage from the Mass of the day is an effective way of praying with the Universal Church.

Be silent and quiet your mind.  Place yourself in a comfortable position for prayer.

Read the text through slowly and carefully. Select a word or a phrase that makes you stop or strikes you as beautiful, inspiring or challenging. Read the text a second time, again, slowly and with attention.

Repeat the word or phrase.  Think about it in the context of your own life and experience.  Consider that God may be sharing this word or phrase with you as an invitation to conversation or a new awareness of his presence in your life.

Speak to God, offer to God words of petition or thanksgiving.  Share what is on your mind and in your heart as if you are speaking with a close friend or a spouse.

Be silent again and rest in the presence of our loving God. After a few minutes, read the passage a third and final time. Remain quiet.

Close your Bible and move toward the next part of your day, carrying your word or phrase in your mind and heart noticing how it directs and shapes your day.”

Scriptures we could use:
Luke 12:22-32
Philippians 4:4-13