St. Benedict teaches: Scripture forms us in the mind of Christ.
Sister Joan Chittister teaches: *
Lectio (the reflective reading of a sacred text) gives us a pathway into Scripture, and regular lectio teaches us how to see the world through God’s eyes.
In lectio, we can meet…
- the boy Samuel (see 1 Samuel 3) and realize that God has been calling us, too…
- the girl Mary (see Luke 1) and realize that we, too, can find the courage to say ‘yes’ to God..
- the first disciples (see John 1), and find that we, too, want to know ‘where Jesus lives’.
Read a passage slowly, silently or aloud (Benedict himself would have read it aloud). Take a few minutes for silent reflection, and identify the words or phrases that draw your attention.
Read the passage slowly a second time, and listen to the text again. Ask yourself, “How does this story speak to my life today?”
Read the passage a third time, and once again listen to the story. Then ask yourself, “What do I believe God wants me to be…or do? Is God inviting me to change in any way?”
Conclude with prayer (not a prayer of words, but a time of remaining open to the Spirit who has spoken to you through the Scripture). Make a record of the thoughts, images, and insights that came in your time of prayer.
Our society is anxious and restless, fearful and angry – but we can learn to be contemplative. In the midst of chaos, if we build the Jesus-life in our own souls, if the Scripture is in our hearts, if we are faithful to lectio, we can see where God is: everywhere.
If you keep a lectio journal – and review your notes from time to time –
you will being to see where the Spirit of God is leading you.
* For more, see Wisdom Distilled from the Daily, by Joan Chittister OSB
(Harper San Francisco, 1990).