We seem to be in a season of the church where we are looking at monastic spirituality with renewed interest.
While few of us are connected to a monastery, and few of us know a monk or a nun at all, there is something in that shape of prayerful life that catches our attention. The monastic life strikes us as distinctly communal in an age of isolation, as non-consumerist in an age of consumerism, and as real in an age of facades. Perhaps it is good that our church practice begins to look more monastic!
The age-old monastic practice of praying the scriptures has come to us in the form of Lectio Divina (Literally “divine reading”). It is a simple pattern, often including four steps, and its goal is simple: to deepen communion with God. In the simplicity of the pattern, space is opened up for holy relationship – it is the promise that as we draw near to God, God draws near to us. We set aside the time, and God promises to meet us where we are. We open the scriptures and listen, and we find, along the way, that we have been spoken to.
I think we are ready to spend more time with Lectio Divina at st. Augustine’s. It is a practice I find very helpful to do in community and a practice that is worth sharing and enjoying. I am opening up my Tuesday mornings and inviting any individuals who would wish to come and join me in this simple practice. The goal remains the same as ever: that we deepen our life with God.
What will it look like?
a) Tuesday mornings at 9:15 (immediately following centering prayer) you are invited to share in Lectio Divina in st. Hilda’s Chapel upstairs. I or another will lead the process and introduce each section. We will read the passage several times in a reflective space and have time to hear from each other (or just listen as we wish).
b) We will use one of the readings (probably the gospel) from the coming Sunday. I am viewing this practice as part of my own sermon preparation and I am happy to share this part of my preparation with you. Those who do Lectio and attend on Sunday will no doubt find themselves listening differently to the scriptures during Sunday worship!
c) You will be free to go by 10 am so we are all able to move into our days (or to Blues be it the 1st or 3rd Tuesday!)
If you would like space to explore more about Lectio Divina – there are teachings tomorrow (Wednesday, November 2), at 10am, and again at 5:45pm. The teachings will be about an hour in length.
Lectio Divina Practice – Tuesdays (starting next week) from 9:15-10am in St. Hilda’s Chapel.
If you are a reader, the Wikipedia page for Lectio is actually pretty good: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lectio_Divina
Blessings in Christ,