What is Lectio Divina, and how is it associated with the Benedictine Monastic tradition?

Steven PutmanQandALeave a Comment

Question: What is Lectio Divina, and how is it associated with the Benedictine Monastic tradition, whose founder, St. Benedict, we honor on July 11?

Answer: Benedict desired his monks to live in community, praying the Liturgy of the Hours together, contemplating sacred texts, and doing manual labor. The monks developed a technique to facilitate a spiritual and devotional reading of the Bible known as Lectio Divina, the holy reading of a text. This method encourages the reader to hear the biblical text with an open heart and focus on whatever God wants to highlight and then apply it to daily life.
There are variations on Lectio Divina, but essentially, the technique consists of a three-step process of reflection. When the reflection is done with a group, the responses are shared by all the participants. Once the text is selected, it is read meditatively, and the following are then explored: a word or phrase that attracts you; how and where the content of this reading touches your life today; what you believe that God wants you to do during this coming week (month, year, lifetime).

Thanks to Benedict, the Christian community has been gifted with this special way of entering into the biblical text. This week, use the Lectio Divina process on one of the readings for the coming Sunday and make a note of the life connections you are making. How is this reflection on the biblical text drawing you closer to God and others?

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