History of Lectio Divina

History of Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina is an ancient practice from the Christian contemplative heritage. It was made a regular practice in monasteries by the time of St. Benedict in the 6th century. The classical practice of Lectio Divina can be divided into two forms: monastic and scholastic. The scholastic form was developed in the Middle Ages and divides the process of Lectio Divina into four hierarchical, consecutive steps:  reading, reflecting, responding and resting. The monastic form of Lectio Divina is a more ancient method in which reading, reflecting, responding and resting are experienced as moments rather than steps in a process. In this form, the interaction among the moments is dynamic and the movement through the moments follows the spontaneous prompting of the Holy Spirit. To allow for this spontaneity, Lectio Divina was originally practiced in private.
The current resurgence of Lectio Divina owes much to the reformations of Vatican II and the revival of the contemplative dimension of Christianity. Today, Lectio Divina is practiced in monasteries and by laypeople around the world. New practices have also been inspired by the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, such as praying the scriptures in common, which uses the scholastic form of Lectio Divina for a group experience of praying the scriptures. Though the method of Lectio Divina has taken slightly different forms throughout the centuries, the purpose has remained the same: to enter into a conversation with God and cultivate the gift of contemplation.

Lectio Divina Series – Centering Prayer & Lectio Divina

Impromptu Conversation with Sr. Maria Tasto on Lectio Divina

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Transcript of Conversation

Other Resources:

“Deepening Lectio Divina and the Senses of Scripture” with Leslee Terpay. Free Download (62 MB)

“Four Approaches to the Practice of Lectio Divina by Father Thomas Keating.” Free Download.

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