Practice Lectio Divina

Lectio divina, Latin for “divine reading,” is an ancient method of praying to promote union with God. It is slow, non-product oriented, contemplative, and filled with silence. Its outward appearances might be a gentler spirit, a passionate heart, greater compassion, love and peace-making. Consider making lectio divina part of your day every day.
Steps for practicing this prayer form:
  • Read the passage below slowly with attention, savoring each word. (lectio)
  • Reflect on the meaning and message of the text for you. (meditatio)
  • Pray with reverence and gratefulness. (oratio)
  • Rest in God’s abiding presence. (contemplatio)
  • Be a prophetic witness in the world. (actio)

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

by Mary Oliver

Preserve me, O God, I take shelter in you.
I say to you, "You are my God.
My happiness lies in you alone."

As for me, I trust in your steadfast love.
Let my heart rejoice in your saving help.
I will sing of your goodness to me,
sing psalms to you, O God.

“For the poor who are oppressed
and the needy who groan,
I myself will arise,” says God.
“I will grant them the freedom
for which they long.”

God, send out your Spirit,
and renew the face of the earth.

Bless God, O my soul!
My God, you are great indeed!
How manifold are your works, O God!
The earth is full of your creatures.

God, send out your Spirit,
and renew the face of the earth.

If you take away their breath, they perish,
and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit,
they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.

God, send out your Spirit,
and renew the face of the earth.

May the glory of God endure forever;
may God be glad in all God's works!
Pleasing to God be my theme;
I will be glad in God.

God, send out your Spirit,
and renew the face of the earth.

PSALM 150

Praise the Eternal God,
so radiant in splendor.
Blest be God's holy name.
In the sacred presence dance for joy.

Make music to bless God.
Play lyre and harp.
With songs of glory and praise
exalt the Holy One from age to age.

Let everything that has breath
burst into shouts of joy.
With resounding cymbals and drums,
let all sing praise to God.

Lamentation of Jeremiah the prophet

Aleph:
How the gold has grown dim;
how the pure gold is changed!
The holy stones lie scattered at the head of every street.

Beth:
The precious children of Zion,
worth their weight in fine gold,
are reckoned as earthen pots,
the work of a potter's hands.

Heth:
The steadfast love of God never ceases,
mercies never come to an end,
they are new every morning;
great is this faithfulness.
"God is my portion,
therefore my hope will not be in vain."

Teth:
God is good to those who wait;
to those who do not waver.
It is good that we should wait quietly
for the salvation of God.
It is good for us that we bear the yoke in our youth.

Response:
Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
be converted to the Holy One, your God.

The One we await dies
and there is none that takes it to heart.
The Anointed One, our breath of life,
in taken away because of our iniquities.

The Just One’s anguish over,
we shall wait in hope.

We shall wait in hope.

Lamentation 4:1, 2; 3:22-27

From the Letter to the Hebrews

Let us go, therefore,
with confidence into the presence of God
that we may obtain mercy
and find favor in time of need.

For every representative taken from among us
is appointed to act on our behalf
in the things that relate to God.

They offer gifts and sacrifices for sin
and have compassion on those who are ignorant and err,
because they also are encompassed with weakness.

So too, Christ did not seek glory
but was chosen by God who said,
“You are my Beloved:
this day have I begotten you.”

God also said,
“You are the Anointed One
according to the order of Melchizedek.”

Though anointed,
Jesus learned obedience through suffering,
became the source of eternal salvation,
and was appointed by God as our representative
according to the order of Melchizedek.

Response:
Sin came into the world,
and with it came death.
It spread to the whole world,
the whole human race,
because all have sinned.

So then,
a single offense condemned all people.
In the same way,
the one righteous act sets all of us free,
giving life.

We have been reconciled to God
through the death of Jesus Christ.
Grace came to so many as an abundant free gift.

Hebrews 4:16-5:10

Lamentation of Jeremiah the prophet

Heth:
God determined to lay in ruins the wall of the daughter of Zion;
marked it off with the line; restrained not from destroying;
caused rampart and wall to lament, they languished together.

Teth:
Her gates have sunk into the ground;
God has ruined and broken her bars;
her ruler and leaders are among the nations;
the law is no more,
and her prophets obtain no vision from God.

Aleph:
I am the one who has seen affliction under the rod of God’s wrath;
God has driven me and brought me into darkness without any light;
against me alone God turns again and again the whole day long.

Beth:
God has made my flesh and my skin waste away;
and broken my bones;
has besieged and enveloped me with bitterness and tribulation;
has made me dwell in darkness like the dead of long ago.

Response:
Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
be converted to the Holy One, your God.

We have seen the Just One as not having beauty or comeliness.
There is no sightliness in the One who has borne our sins
and grieves for us. The Just One was wounded for our iniquities.
By these wounds we have been healed.

Surely, this is the One who has borne our infirmities
and carried our sorrows.

By these wounds we have been healed.

Lamentation 2:8-9, 3:1-6

Psalm 22:8-9, 17-20, 23-24

All who see me deride me.
They toss their heads and sneer,
"You trusted, let God save you.
May you be released if God is your friend."

Many have surrounded me;
a band of the wicked beset me.
Their pierce my hands and my feet
and leave me in the dust of death.
I can count every one of my bones.

They divide my clothing among them
and cast lots for my robe.
O God, do not leave me alone;
my strength, make haste to help me!

I will proclaim your name to my friends,
and praise you where they are assembled.
You who reverence God, give praise;
tribes of Israel, give glory to God.

Psalm 30:1-8

Out of the depths I cry to you;
O God, hear my voice!
Be attentive to my cry, my pleading.
If you remember our guilt,
who would survive?
With you is forgiveness.
My soul waits for you:
I count on your word.
My soul longs for you
more than the sentry for daybreak.
Let sentinels count on daybreak;
let Israel count on you.
With you there is mercy
and grace in abundance.
Israel will be redeemed
from all its iniquity.

Psalm 23

You are my shepherd, O God;
there is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the pastures
where you give me repose.
Near restful waters you lead me,
refreshing my spirit.
You guide me along safe paths;
you are true to your name.
Though I walk in the valley of darkness,
no evil do I fear.
Your rod and staff are comfort to me.
You prepare a banquet for me
in the sight of my foes.
My head you anoint with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely, goodness and kindness shall follow me
all the days of my life.
I shall dwell in your house forever.

Psalm 95

Come, let us sing joyfully to God;
let us acclaim the rock of our salvation.

Let us come into God's presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms.

Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the God who made us.
We are the people God shepherds.

Oh, that today you would hear God's voice
"Harden not your hearts as at Meribah
as in the day of Massah in the desert."
Your ancestors tempted me;
they tested me though they had seen my works.

Psalm 33

Upright is the word of God
and all Gods works are trustworthy.
God loves justice and right;
of the kindness of God the earth is full.

See, the eyes of God are upon those who fear,
upon those who hope in God's kindness,
to deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.

Our soul waits for God,
who is our help and our shield.

May your kindness, O God, be upon us
who have put our hope in you.

Have mercy on me, O God, in your kindness;
in your great tenderness wipe away my faults.
Wash away my sin;
cleanse me of my guilt.

...

You love those who search for truth.
In wisdom, center me,
for you know my frailty.
With fresh flowing water
wash me of my iniquities.

Uphold my cause, O God,
for I walk in integrity.
I trust in you;
I shall stand firm.

LISTEN TO THE PRECEPTS OF YOUR TEACHER;
INCLINE THE EAR OF YOUR HEART.

Hosea 2:20-22

On that day I will make a covenant
with the beasts of the field,
with the birds of the air,
and with all that crawls on the earth.

Bow and sword and war
I will destroy from the land,
and I will let them take their rest in security.

I will espouse you to myself forever.
I will espouse you with integrity and justice,
in tenderness and mercy.
I will espouse you in fidelity,
and you shall know that I am God.

LISTEN TO THE PRECEPTS OF YOUR TEACHER;
INCLINE THE EAR OF YOUR HEART.

Your teaching is perfect,
renewing life.
Your decrees are trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
Your law is truth,
gladdening the heart.
Your words are holy,
enduring forever.

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.

John 1:1

You are the God of All Life. You enlighten my darkness. With you I can withstand any hardship. In you I find my courage.

I love you, O God, my strength. It is in you that I place my trust.

Preserve me, O God, I take shelter in you.
I say to you, "You are my God.
My happiness lies in you alone."

Who shall dwell with you, O God, and live on your holy mountain?

All those who walk without fault, who act with justice,
speak the truth from their hearts, and do not slander with their tongues,
those who do no wrong to anyone, who cast no discredit on their neighbor,
who keep their pledge, those who make no unjust demands
and accept no bribes, who hold the godless in disdain,
but honor those who reverence God —
such people will stand firm forever.

The words of God are pure, like silver from the furnace, seven times refined.

To remember the past is to commit oneself to the future.
To remember Hiroshima is to abhor nuclear war.
In the face of calamity that every war is,
one must affirm again and again,
that the waging of war is not inevitable or unchangeable.
Humanity is not destined to self-destruction.

(Pope John Paul II - Appeal for Peace - February 25, 1981)

God is just and loves justice; the upright shall see God.

O God, you hear the cry of the poor
and strengthen their hearts.
You protect the rights of the oppressed.

As for me, I trust in your steadfast love.
Let my heart rejoice in your saving help.
I will sing of your goodness to me,
sing psalms to you, O God.

Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom.

God will to bring us to birth with a word spoken in truth so that we may be a kind of first fruits of creation.

Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.

Through all the universe your glorious name resounds, O God.

You have made know to me the ways of life;
you will make me full of gladness with your presence.

Acts 2:28

You changed my mourning into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth
and clothed me with joy.
I shall not cease to praise you,
giving thanks forever.

When cut off from the land of the living
and smitten for the sin of the people,
a grave was assigned among the wicked
though this one had done no wrong.

This day shall be a memorial feast for you,
which all your generations shall celebrate
with pilgrimage to God,
as a perpetual institution.

The WORD is near you,
on your lips
and in your heart.

Romans 10:8

What does scripture say? “The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart”. This is the message concerning faith that we proclaim: if you confess with your lips that Jesus is the Long-Awaited One and believe with your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

God says: “For as the rain and the snow come down from the heavens, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

“You, O God, will have compassion upon us; you will tread our iniquities under foot. You will cast all our sinfulness into the depths of the sea. You will show faithfulness to Jacob and unswerving loyalty to Abraham and Sarah, as you have sworn to our ancestors from the days of old.”

God says: “For as the rain and the snow come down from the heavens, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

You, O God, are good and true,
slow to anger, and governing all with mercy.

With you, O God,
great strength abides always.
Who can resist your strength?
Indeed, before you the whole universe
is as a grain from a balance,
or a drop of morning dew
come down upon the earth.

LISTEN TO THE PRECEPTS OF YOUR TEACHER;
INCLINE THE EAR OF YOUR HEART.

I will praise you, O God, with all my heart;
I will recount all your wonders
and sing the glory of your name.

I am filled with awe at the sight of the heavens, the sun, moon, and stars which you set in place. Who are we that you care for us?

God indeed is my security;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage
are in God.

With joy Israel will draw water
at the fountain of salvation
and say on that day:

Give thanks and acclaim
the name of God.
Sing praise
for God's glorious achievements.
Let this be known
throughout all the earth.

Shout with exultation,
O city of Zion,
for great in your midst
is the God of Israel!

Isaiah 12:2-6

Let us see your mercy,
and give us your saving help.

I will hear what you have to say,
a voice that speaks of peace,
peace for your chosen ones,
those who open their hearts.
Help is near for all who believe in you.
Glory will dwell in our land.

To you, O God, I lift up my soul.

Your ways make known to me.
Guide me in your truth, / teach me.
You are the God of my salvation.

I thank you, God, for your justice.
I praise your name unceasingly.

Give me a humble sincere heart!

Pages