Monday, 8 February 2016

Lectio Divina: An Invitation

As members of the Order of Preachers, we are called not only to contemplate the mystery of God personally, but also to communicate what we have contemplated to others.  The sacred scriptures of the Christian tradition is for us, as it is for all Christians, one of the most privileged places where we can freely discover this mystery and enter more deeply into the immensity of God's divine life and love.

During this Jubilee Year celebrating the 800th Anniversary of the Order of Preachers, you are invited to explore and read our daily online Lectio Divina with us as a way of prayerful and shared contemplative engagement with the Christian scriptures.  The lectio divina for each day has been written by a member of the Dominican family, which includes sisters and nuns, priests and brothers, associates, volunteers, and lay men and women.  As Dominicans, we are as diverse as are our members -- each a vital part of the entire Order of Preachers.  Thus, our online lectio divina is also a rich opportunity for you to get to know us better and to participate, just a tiny bit, in our contemplative practice and experience its fruits.

For those who are unfamiliar with lectio divina, or "sacred reading", it is an ancient way of prayer that has been practiced by Christians since the earliest times.  It essentially involves slowly and meditatively reading some portion of text from the Christian scriptures, then prayerfully responding and resting in silence.  You will notice, on our Lectio Divina website, that we have formatted this into a simple five-step exploration and engagement with scripture that is easy to follow:  Lectio (Reading), Studium (Study), Meditatio (Meditation), Oratio (Prayer), and Contemplatio (Contemplation).  Just click on these headings to read the reflections.

If you are interested in learning more about lectio divina, or in deepening your practice of this way of prayer, you may find these books helpful:

Too Deep for Words: Rediscovering Lectio Divina by Thelma Hall, RC.
The Word Seen and Touched: Lectio Divina and the Human Experience by Brendan Clifford, OP.
Lectio Divina: Renewing the Ancient Practice of Praying the Scriptures by M. Basil Pennington, OCSO. 

 -- Sister Elizabeth Marie