When the Holy Father says that the practice of a certain devotion would lead to nothing less than the renewal of the Church,1 we do well to sit up and take notice.
Pope Benedict XVI said exactly this about the practice of lectio divina, which is an ancient form of praying over the Scriptures. In lectio divina, a passage is read and followed by silence. The hearers focus on a single word or phrase that jumps out at them and allow the “still small voice of the Lord” to speak to their hearts. The same passage is read another two or three more times, with each reading followed by another period of silence, and a time of sharing may follow for the edification of all.
Many parishes are starting groups for lectio divina and it can also be done during individual prayer time. Sacred Scripture is our spiritual food, the lamp unto our feet and director of our steps. But this can’t happen if God’s Word remains on our bookshelf collecting dust.
Let us crack open our Bibles and not only read God’s Word, but prayerfully and slowly listen to what the Holy Spirit is speaking personally to us this day.
1 – From Address of Pope Benedict XVI to the Participants of the International Congress Organized to Commemorate the
40th Anniversary of the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation ‘Dei Verbum’: “If [Lectio divina] is effectively
promoted, this practice will bring ot the Church – I am convinced of it – a new spiritual springtime.”