For my friends who like the cliff notes version. I summed up several resources and added my own two cents!
Four stages of “Lectio Divina” or “Divine Reading”
Lectio Divina is a way of reading the scriptures that helps us to let go of our busy minds and invite God to speak in the quiet.
Stage 1 “Lectio”- Reading the scriptures. Select a passage and read it slowly and reflectively so that the Word of God and really sink in.
Stage 2 “Meditatio”- Reflection where you think deeply or meditate on what you just read. I usually think on a line or phrase that caught my attention. Sometimes I need to read it again for something to jump out and grab me.
Stage 3 “Oratio”- Response. What does this passage make you want to say to God? Many of us journal and I imagine that sometimes it looks like letters to God with questions and feelings or just venting the frustrations of the day. Take this time to let your heart speak. What is troubling you? What are you thankful for? What are you deepest longings? Tell Him!
Stage 4 “Contemplatio”- Rest. Let go of everything and just be. Be in the divine presence of God. Listen to what He is speaking to your heart. Give Him a quiet space of time. Invite Him to take this time and do with it what He wills.
Some of the times you pray with Lectio will be powerful moving experiences with God. Sometimes you’ll just feel like you read something and sat for 30 minutes or an hour and you might feel discouraged. Just remember in both these instances God is overjoyed by the gift of your time and the gift of yourself. You are precious in His eyes.
“Listen carefully, my son. To the precepts of thy master and incline the ear of your heart.” Rule of Saint Benedict
I recently wrote this for Encounter a Steubenville Young Adult conference in St. Louis and I thought I’d share it here.
My name is Sarah Woolhiser, I am a 22 year old currently residing in Cincinnati Ohio. I have been seriously discerning religious life for a year. I ended up at Encounter through my time with the Daughters of Charity and I am so very grateful.
I’ll be honest and tell you that my life does not look very different to an outsider. But who I am at the very core of my being is being dramatically transformed. God has been trying me with fire. Burning away my selfishness and leaving me with love and the desire to seek Him; the desire for true holiness. Encounter literally brought Him to me. At Adoration, Father Mike Schmitz brought the monstrance with the most precious body of Christ not a foot in front of me. Not only did I bawl like a baby, but I felt His love wrap around me and I was safe and warm. “He has put a gladness into my heart, more than when their grain and new wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep for You alone, oh Lord make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:7-8
I am on fire with His love and my desire is to give His love to everyone. “It is not enough for us to love God if our neighbor does not love Him also.” Saint Vincent de Paul
Encounter taught me and many other young adults that we are all disciples. It is our responsibility as members of the Church to bring Him to others and bring others into His one flock. I pray that God gives us the strength and the courage to carry out the marvelous plans He has for each and every one of us. I encountered Christ in the people I met at the conference all I had to do was open my eyes. He was there in the prayer huddle. He was there in the small group conversations. He was there in the flesh as we received Him in the Host. He lives in you and He lives in me. Let’s give Him to His people.