Earlier this month I attended a retreat at the St. Meinrad Archabbey concerning the ancient practice of lectio divina. The conferences were effectively led by a young monk named Matthew Mattingly, OSB. It was a special time for reflection and assessment. I had attempted to practice the sacred reading before but had failed in part because I did not understand that it is not accomplished by technique. Below are several ideas Bro. Mattingly left with the participants that I thought were helpful:
- Lectio Divina (LD) trains us to see the world as God sees the world.
- LD must be part of a larger prayer life, both corporate and personal, as well as a larger plan (re: rule) toward Christian spirituality.
- Christian spirituality demands a complete way of life, a life which includes prayer, the Word, and the liturgy, where the day can be sanctified by prayer, and where time is sanctified within the context of the liturgical year.
- In LD we read slowly and eventually make the scripture our own.
- LD makes the Bible's story our story.
- LD is not just found in the moment we read, but later on when we internalize what we have been reading, when we mull and meditate on the Word.
- In the practice of LD we do not look for technique.
If you would like to learn more about St. Meinrad's, I have included below a video they produced: