History of Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina, latin for Divine reading, is a way to pray with scripture. The idea is to open ourselves up to the voice of God through prayerful engagement with sacred text. It is different from Bible Study, in that we are not seeking to understand, analyze or interpret scripture, but instead aim to encounter the living God through Scripture.

Some see the roots of Lectio Divina in the way the ancient Hebrews prayed with scriptures, others point to the desert Abbas and Ammas, the Rule of Saint Benedict and the beginnings of the Christian monastic tradition, while the four-part prayer now typically associated with Lectio Divina can be traced to Guigo II, a medieval Christian leader. In any event, Lectio Divina is rooted in the long-standing tradition of seeking communion with God through engagement with sacred text.

There are many different ways to approach Lectio Divina, but as mentioned earlier it has come to be understood to comprise four components: Lectio, meditatio, oratio and contemplatio. Lectio is reading, a quiet, slow reading of a limited number of verses. In meditatio we reflect on, or ponder, the meaning of the sacred text. Oratio refers to our prayerful response or a dialogue with the Divine. And contemplatio is contemplation, where we simply rest in the presence of God.

Lectio Divina is an incredibly rich, meaningful process where we open our hearts and minds to the presence of God. May you be blessed on your journey with the living God.