"Lectio Divina"… just what is that?

This fall, saint benedict’s table will be offering a four-session introduction to the ancient practice of lectio divina, a model for praying with scripture.  There are two more sessions in the series, set of November 3 & 10 at 7:00pm in the small chapel at All Saints Church.  If you’ve not yet attended one, it is not too late to join in for the remaining evenings.  For further information and to register, just keep reading…

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hen I was at St John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota this past spring, I asked my friend Father Kilian McDonnell what he thought the single most important thing our church community might do would be, and without any hesitation he replied “lectio divina.”  “It is one thing to study the scriptures,” he said, “but it is an entirely different thing to pray them.”

When I returned home, I mentioned this conversation to Mike Boyce, and he replied, “Well, did you know that Rachel has taught lectio?  Well, no, I didn’t know that, but one quick e-mail message later and I had a coffee conversation set up with Rachel Twigg-Boyce, and things were set in motion.

Lectio divina (Latin for “holy reading”) is an ancient practice of prayerful reading, which calls the participant to study, listen and ultimately pray particular scriptural texts. Over these four sessions, Rachel will introduce us to this method of prayer by having us hear and pray particular passages, followed by some time together in conversation. These sessions will take place in the small chapel at the church, which is a lovely little space, ideally suited to prayer and meditation.

A quick online search will turn up all sorts of material on this practice, including a quite good one by an organization called Contemplative Outreach. Of course, as Fr. Kilian would want to remind us, reading about something is quite a different thing than doing it, and to learn by doing together seems a particularly important thing in the practice of prayer.

If you’re interested in joining these sessions, please contact us and we’ll add your name to the list.

Jamie Howison

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