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The Bible: sacred endeavor


Last updated 5/10/2007 at Noon

Last week we discussed the Bible as a historical document, but how about the Bible’s experiential qualities? To that end, may I suggest the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, or Divine Reading. There are four steps that characterize Lectio Divina: Read a Bible passage slowly several times. Reflect on the passage thinking how to apply it to one’s own life. Respond to the reading by opening your heart and beginning a conversation with God. Then listen to God, yep…listen. This will free you from your own thoughts. In this way, you open your mind, heart and soul to the influence of God. Michael Casey puts it this way, “Lectio Divina is one concrete means of opening ourselves to the action of grace and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.”

According to Thomas Keating, founder of Contemplative Outreach: “Lectio Divina is the most traditional way of cultivating a friendship with Christ. It is a way of listening to the texts of scripture as if we were in conversation with Christ and he were suggesting the topics of conversation. The daily encounter with Christ and reflection on his word leads beyond mere acquaintanceship to an attitude of friendship, trust and love.”

The morning I wrote this article my random Lectio reading was in Luke. Here’s what struck me: “He will soften adult hearts to become like little children’s, and will change disobedient minds to the wisdom of faith” (Lk:1:7). That’s why we study and share apologetics and our experiences walking with the Lord. Give Lectio a try and experience a deeper friendship with the Lord. Let me know how it goes at [email protected] Make sure to put “Faith Matters” in the email reference.


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