practice Lectio Divina. Lectio Divina", a Latin term, means "divine reading" and describes a way of reading the Scriptures whereby we gradually let go of our own agenda and open ourselves to what God wants to say to us. In the 12th century, a Carthusian monk called Guigo, described four stages which he saw as essential to the practice of Lectio Divina.
He said that the first stage is lectio (reading) where we read the Word of God, slowly and reflectively so that it sinks into us.
The second stage is meditatio (reflection) where we think about the text we have chosen and ruminate upon it so that we take from it what God wants to give us.
The third stage is oratio (response) where we leave our thinking aside and simply let our hearts speak to God. This response is inspired by our reflection on the Word of God.
The final stage of Lectio Divina is contemplatio (rest) where we let go not only of our own ideas, plans and meditations but also of our holy words and thoughts. We simply rest in the Word of God. We listen at the deepest level of our being to God who speaks within us with a still small voice. As we listen, we are gradually transformed from within. Obviously this transformation will have a profound effect on the way we actually live and the way we live is the test of the authenticity of our prayer. We must take what we read in the Word of God into our daily lives.
Each day in the morning and in the afternoon I listened to a 60 minute talk followed by an hour meditation. I always say that Jesus is the best doctor as he chooses for us the treatment we need at the moment. When I picked up CDs with talks I didn’t expect how much they would apply to my life. As I kept listening and reflecting of them I felt that the priest recorded the talks just for me. The first thing that hit me hard was that God loves me irrevocably, that nothing can change that but the way He expresses his love for me depends on my behavior. If I am acting nobly, honestly, compassionately, decently etc. he loves me by his encouragement and support so that I could persevere in good. However if in my life there is selfishness, laziness, cruelty, self-obsession etc he expresses his love by rebuking, remorse, allowing me to experience consequences of my actions. In the Gospels we can see that it was Jesus’ pedagogy. He was treating some with gentleness like a shepherd looking after a little lamb but he was also very firm and challenging towards those who were finding excuses for their wicked behavior.
Lectio Divina is a good remedy for the modern tendency of Christianity that stops the Word of God on the level of the intellect and doesn’t allow it to go down to the heart where the decisions and desires are shaped. However by allowing the Word of God to penetrate the depth of our heart we experience a painful but healing work of the Lord. We also start seeing God in all events of our life. You don’t need to have some high thoughts at prayer to keep you content but rather you appreciate what Jesus is doing with you.