Lectio Divina Step One: What is Lectio?

Lectio Divina as a Spiritual Practice

Lectio Divina is a powerful spiritual practice that involves reading and meditating on Scripture. The practice has been used for centuries as a way to connect with God, deepen one’s understanding of the Bible, and cultivate a more intimate relationship with Christ. There are four main steps in the practice of Lectio Divina, and the first step is called “Lectio,” which is Latin for “reading.”

In this first step, we read a passage of Scripture slowly and intentionally, allowing the words to sink in and speak to us in a personal way. This is different from reading the Bible for information or to check it off our to-do list. Instead, Lectio invites us to read the Bible with an open heart and a desire to hear from God.

Lectio as the First Step of Lectio Divina

As we engage in Lectio, we may find that certain words or phrases stand out to us. These may be words that we have heard many times before, but suddenly they take on a new meaning or significance. Or they may be words that we have never noticed before, but they resonate with us in a powerful way.

In the next three steps of Lectio Divina (Meditatio, Oratio, and Contemplatio), we will dive deeper into the passage of Scripture that we have read in Lectio. But before we can do that, we must first slow down and truly listen to what God is saying to us through his Word.

Whether you are new to the practice of Lectio Divina or have been practicing it for years, the step of Lectio is essential to a fruitful and meaningful experience. It sets the foundation for the other steps and helps us to approach the Bible with an open heart and a desire to hear from God. So the next time you open your Bible, take a few deep breaths, and invite the Holy Spirit to guide you in your reading. As you engage in Lectio, may you hear God’s voice speaking to you in a personal and powerful way.

Lectio Divina Step One: What is Lectio? Learn about the first step in this ancient spiritual practice, where you read and listen to a passage from scripture, seeking to understand its meaning and relevance to your life.

What is Lectio?

Origins of Lectio

Lectio, which means “reading” in Latin, is a term that refers to the first step in the practice of Lectio Divina. This spiritual practice has its roots in the monastic tradition of Christianity and involves the reading and meditation of Scripture.

How Different from Other Readings

What sets Lectio apart from other forms of reading is the intention behind it. Rather than reading for information or entertainment, Lectio is a form of contemplative reading that seeks to engage the heart and mind with the divine. The goal is not to simply understand the words on the page, but to allow the words to transform the reader and draw them closer to God.

How to Practice Lectio

To practice Lectio, it is recommended to select a short passage of Scripture, such as a verse or two, and read it slowly and attentively. The focus is not on reading as much as possible, but on reading with deep attention and openness to what the Spirit might reveal through the words. As the reader reads, they may begin to meditate on specific words or phrases that stand out to them, repeating them slowly and allowing them to sink in.

One way to practice Lectio is to ask the following questions as you read:

  • What word or phrase stands out to me?
  • What emotions or thoughts arise as I read this passage?
  • How does this passage connect with my life or current situation?
  • What might God be saying to me through this passage?

Lectio can be practiced alone or in a group, and is a powerful tool for deepening one’s relationship with God and cultivating a more contemplative way of being in the world.

The Purpose of Lectio

Spiritual Purpose of Lectio

The spiritual purpose of Lectio is to encounter God through the reading and meditation of Scripture. By focusing on a short passage of Scripture, we open ourselves up to a deeper connection with God and His Word. Through this practice, we allow God’s Word to speak to us and guide us in our spiritual journey.

Practical Benefits of Lectio

In addition to the spiritual benefits, there are many practical benefits to practicing Lectio. One of the main benefits is increased mindfulness and awareness of God’s presence. As we meditate on Scripture, we become more attuned to God’s voice and the guidance He provides us. This can help us to live more intentionally and with a greater sense of purpose.

Another benefit of practicing Lectio is spiritual growth. By regularly engaging in this practice, we develop a deeper understanding of Scripture and a stronger connection with God. This can lead to increased wisdom, compassion, and love for others.

Overall, the practice of Lectio can have a transformative impact on our spiritual lives, helping us to encounter God in a deeper and more meaningful way.

Lectio Divina Step One: What is Lectio? Learn about the first step in this ancient spiritual practice, where you read and listen to a passage from scripture, seeking to understand its meaning and relevance to your life.

Tips for Practicing Lectio

  1. Set aside a dedicated time and space for the practice: Lectio Divina requires a certain level of focus and concentration, so it’s important to create a quiet, distraction-free environment where you can fully engage with the text. Consider setting aside a regular time each day, such as first thing in the morning or before bed, and finding a comfortable spot where you can sit quietly and read.
  2. Choose a passage of Scripture that resonates with you: The beauty of Lectio Divina is that it can be applied to any passage of Scripture, so choose one that speaks to your heart and resonates with your current spiritual journey. You might find it helpful to read through a few different passages and see which one stands out to you the most.
  3. Be patient with the process: Lectio Divina is a slow, deliberate practice that requires patience and persistence. Don’t get discouraged if it feels challenging or you don’t experience any immediate insights or revelations. Instead, trust in the process and know that God will reveal what you need to see in His timing.
  4. Approach Lectio with an open mind and heart: Lectio Divina is a contemplative practice that requires an attitude of openness and receptivity. As you read and meditate on the text, try to let go of any preconceptions or expectations and allow yourself to be guided by the Holy Spirit.

Remember, the goal of Lectio Divina is not to achieve a specific outcome or insight, but rather to deepen your relationship with God and experience His presence in a more profound way.

Importance of Lectio as a Foundational Step

In summary, Lectio Divina is a spiritual practice that involves reading and meditating on Scripture, and the first step in this practice is called “Lectio”. Lectio is a deliberate and attentive way of reading Scripture that allows us to encounter God and deepen our relationship with Him. By practicing Lectio, we can cultivate mindfulness, awareness of God’s presence, and spiritual growth.

If you’re new to Lectio, set aside a dedicated time and space for the practice, choose a passage of Scripture that resonates with you, and be patient with the process. Approach Lectio with an open mind and heart, and allow yourself to be guided by the Holy Spirit.

Lectio is a foundational step in the practice of Lectio Divina, and it offers numerous benefits for our spiritual lives. As you continue exploring this ancient spiritual practice, remember that Lectio is ultimately a means of drawing closer to God. So why not give it a try and see where this practice takes you on your spiritual journey? As always, my dear friends, may you be blessed as you seek after God and deepen your relationship with Him through Lectio Divina.

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