Sunday, February 10, 2013

Not Too Early To Prepare

In preparation for Lent, I'm looking back over earlier posts on Lectio.   As I hope to develop a habit of more faithful, concentrated time in prayer with scripture, I could stand a bit of a refreshing.  So here is a shortened re-post from several months ago:

"Cardinal Odilo Scherer recommended to his archdiocese the exercise of prayerful reading of the Word of God.... the method 'proposes the reading and acceptance of the Word of God in a context of prayer, as the Church recommends.' 

Through lectio divina, Cardinal Scherer continued, a 'dialogue of faith' is established, 'in which we listen to God who speaks, we respond with prayer and try to be attuned to him in our lives.'...

The cardinal went on to offer the faithful four easy steps for lectio divina.

First, one reads the passage. 'In this first instance, one attempts to understand the text exactly as it appears, without pretending to extract from it immediately messages and conclusions,' he said.

Meditation on the text comes next, in response to the question 'What is God saying to me, or to us, through this text? Now we really do try to listen to God who is speaking to us and we receive his voice.' 

Then comes prayer. In this third step, we respond to the question: 'What does this text bring me to say to God?' 

'Let us always remember that a good biblical reading is always done only in the dialogue of faith: God speaks, we listen and accept, and respond to God and speak to him,'  the cardinal explained. The text  'might inspire several types of prayer: praise, profession of faith, thanksgiving, adoration, petition for forgiveness and help.'

The fourth and final step of lectio divina is contemplation. In this step 'we dwell on the Word and further our understanding of the mystery of God and his plan of love and salvation; at the same time, we dispose ourselves to accept in our concrete lives what the Word teaches us, renewing our good intentions and obedience of the faith....

It's enough to start; 
it is learned by being practiced.'"
  (article from Zenit, September 15, 2009; emphases mine). 

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Painting: Ciaglinski, Róża, herbaciana, 1905, in US public domain

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