Sacred reading is the translation from Latin for Lectio Divina. It is a practice from the church’s earliest days and appreciated by those who seek a contemplative and prayerful life. Some describe it as the soul food of the mystical life as one eats and feeds upon the written text of the word of God speaking to us.
Four nonlinear movements overlap and help integrate the reading of the text and the profound experience of a transformative encounter with the living God of the scripture.
First, you read the text slowly, thoughtfully, and deliberately to gain insight into each words’ energy, imagery, and meaning. It is not a race to read as much as you can in an allotted time. Invite the resurrected Christ to help you let go of any preconceived ideas of the passage you may hold. The goal is to view the scripture in a fresh light as if you are reading it for the first time. As you read, put it into the perspective of the time it was written and throughout history and how it applies to you today.
The second movement is to mediate, ruminate over the words by reflecting, memorizing, reciting, and repeating them to let our minds absorb their truth deep into our spirit and soul. Then, when you repeat the verse slowly, notice the words that jump off the page and touch your heart. What is the text saying at this moment for your life today? Let Jesus speak to you in the silence. (The Practice of Christian Meditation and Prayer)
The third movement expresses inward heartfelt gratitude and praise in response to meditating on the goodness of God. It humbles us as we release our regrets and remorse over our actions in life. It becomes a prayerful expression of worship and our thankfulness to God for all things.
The fourth is contemplation that overshadows our soul resting and abiding in the presence of God in the quiet of the silence. Our souls are awake to the Divine Mystery of being united to the Triune God in spirit, soul, and body in the present moment. The word of God is alive and active living in us. We are now present with the ever-present One. Read the scripture one last time.
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 2 Timothy 3:16 NLT
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