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)

To you, O God, I will sing a new song;
on the ten-stringed lute I will play.

Should mountains mingle with the waves,
should rocks melt like wax before you,
you would still be merciful
to those who reverence you.

Give me life that I may praise you.
May your decrees ever guide me.

God, the creator of the heavens, the designer and maker of the earth says: "I am God, there is no other. I have not spoken in secret nor from some dark place of the earth. I have not said to Israel, 'Look for me in chaos.' I promise justice; I speak truth."

My lips will speak words of wisdom, for my heart is full of insight. I seek to understand the truth and unfold the mystery to the sound of the harp.

Though the fig tree blossom not nor fruit be on the vines, though the yield of the olive fail and the fields produce no nourishment, though the flocks disappear from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet will I rejoice and exult in God who alone is my strength, who makes my feet swift as those of hinds and enables me to go upon the heights, singing psalms of praise.

Sing to God a song, a hymn of praise newly written.

Who is the Glorious One? The God of life and blessing, the Creator of all that is!

Listen, my people, to my teaching; incline your ear to the words of my mouth. I will speak to you in a parable and reveal the mysteries of the past.

You are the strength of the oppressed, their refuge and hope. Those who know your name trust in you. You answer all who seek your help.

O God, you hear the cry of the poor and strengthen their hearts.

Blest is your name, O God, for all wisdom belongs to you.

Solitude is not something you must hope for in the future. Rather it is a deepening of the present, and unless you look for it in the present you will never find it. - Thomas Merton

Our true self is anchored in Christ.
The more Christ-like we become,
the more we are our true selves.

Thomas Merton

Dare to declare who you are.
It is not far from the shores of silence
to the boundaries of speech.
The path is not long,
but the way is deep.
You must not only walk there,
you must be prepared to leap.

Scivias - Hildegard of Bingen

Blest are you, O God. You are my love, my refuge, you fill me with strength.

Great are you, O God, wonderful in strength and unsurpassable.

Faithful to the sacred promise, God led the people out with joy, the chosen ones with shouts of rejoicing, and gave them the land of Canaan.

In love sustain those who are faithful, those who are sincere of heart.

Let us exalt God. Stand in God's presence, in the holy dwelling place.

Greater than the roar of crashing waters, more glorious than the surging of the sea, you are glorious forever, and your decrees are to be trusted.

God's mercy alone, in kindness and care, with patience and love, all this gave us new life.

A grateful heart I offer you as I call upon your name.

May the mountains echo peace and the hills justice.

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

I am no longer afraid of death,
I know well its darkness
and cold corridors leading to life.
I am afraid rather of that life
which does not come out of death.
I live each day to kill death.
I die each day to beget life,
and in this dying until death,
I die a thousand time and am reborn
another thousand through that love
from my community, which nourishes hope.
You will then know how marvelous it is
to live threatened with Resurrection,
to dream awake,
to keep watch asleep,
to live while dying
and to already know oneself resurrected.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

(Threatened with Resurrection
by Julia Esquivel p. 63, 65)

Christ did not enter into a holy place made by hands,
but entered heaven itself,
now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.
It was through Christ's blood
that eternal redemption was obtained
and we were cleansed from lifeless deeds,
so that we could worship the living God.
Christ was offered up once
to take away the sin of many
and will appear a second time,
not to take away sin
but to bring salvation to those who eagerly wait.

(Hebrews 9:24, 14, 28)

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.

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

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.

(Hebrews 4:16-5:10)

Heth:

God determined to lay in ruins the wall of the daughter of Zion;
marked it off by the line; restrained not from destroying;
caused rampart and wall to lament, they languish 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.

(Lamentation 2:8-9; 3:1-6)

Let these be the words of God’s redeemed,
“O give thanks to God who is good,
whose love endures forever.”

God rises to shouts of joy, amid trumpet blasts.
With full voice sing praise.
God is Creator of all the earth,
caring for all nations.
With all your heart
sing praise to God who abides in glory.

Like a shepherd, God feeds the flock
and gathers the lambs,
carrying them tenderly,
leading the ewes with care.

All nations will come to worship you
and glorify your name.
You are great and work wonders;
you alone are God.

May God’s blessings be yours
all the days of your life!

The good take pity and are generous;
they conduct themselves with honor.
The just shall be in everlasting remembrance,
exalted in glory.

Be mindful of your promise
by which you gave me hope.
This is my comfort in sorrow —
that your promise gives me life.

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

God fixes the number of the stars
and calls each one by name.
Such wisdom is beyond measure.

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

O God, let your love come upon me,
the saving help of your promise.

You are fair among the people of the earth;
graciousness comes from within.
for God has blest you forever.

O people, bless the Holy One; let the song of praise resound.

Let them thank God for such great love, for the marvels done on their behalf. God satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

God is eternal, the creator of all that is. Hope in God! Your strength will be renewed. You will soar like an eagle, run and not grow weary.

Your commands have been my delight; these I have loved. I will respect your commands and honor your statutes.

Blest are you, O God, you have lavished me with your love.

Your strength is from the Holy One. In splendor and glory, arise for the cause of truth.

Indeed, how good is the Holy One, steadfast in love. Such faithfulness endures forever.

You heavens, sun, moon, and stars, all the universe, bless God. God of Creation, we praise you forever.

Praised be God, the Eternal One, who has made us holy in Christ, given us every blessing.

Come and see the wonders of God; awe-inspiring are these deeds.

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