Lectio Divina, again

August 27, 2003

[Lectio Divina]It’s been a long time since I’ve done Lectio Divina with any consistency. I thought that doing it over the 40-day Lenten period would establish it as a habit in my life, but sadly, it didn’t just happen by itself. I guess I need to make it happen. I want it to happen, because the benefits are great.

One of the things I love about Lectio is that it can lead you down trails you would never find if you just stuck to “authorial intent”. One of the things Leonard Sweet talks about is the difference between deductive or inductive reasoning, as opposed to abductive reasoning. I have discovered that Lectio Divina is truly abductive. The process of meditating on the “shimmering word” by reading and re-reading the passage is the best example I’ve experienced of what Leonard describes as “taking an image, and spinning it until it comes alive.”

What’s interesting is that for me, the “spinning” continues all day long; the image is stuck in my head and I keep revisiting it throughout the day. This is in stark contrast to my experience with the conventional “quiet time”, where I would read a passage, check it off as “done”, and live out the rest of my day with no real connection to what I had read. Quiet times may work better for you, but for me, I’m afraid I fell into the modernistic trap of a well-partitioned life.

Well, I was going to share yesterday’s Lectio which was especially peculiar and fun. But I see that’s for another posting.

Jon Reid

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As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.

3 responses to Lectio Divina, again

  1. I agree – its great to enjoy some new experiences of scripture and feel God speaking

  2. I have been wanting to get back into lectio myself. Thanks for the
    boost, Jon!

  3. I’ve been doing Lectio off and on for a few years now. I would strongly recommend the book on the subject by M. Basil Pennington, OCSO. Lectio Divina: Renewing the Ancient Practice of Praying the Scriptures (New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1998). Pennington explores the process of Lectio in depth via his own experience and the experiences of others in its long tradition.
    May God bless you!