Lectio Divina
- Praying Scripture

Do you have to be a monk to pray?

We often fail to absorb the truth that God loves us unconditionally and perhaps, for this reason, we do not feel worthy to pursue Godís presence. But God has said, "...you are precious in my eyes...and I love you." (Is 46:4) To seek God then, is a call given to all of us, religious and lay persons alike.


Listen readily to holy reading and devote yourself often to prayer. Rule of Benedict

What is Lectio Divina?

Lectio Divina was developed in the early monastic tradition of the 3rd century. It is a simple prayer, which when used faithfully, enables the seeker to move from knowledge of God to a deep and loving relationship with God. Like any relationship that is deep and lasting, however, it takes time and patience to develop. Lectio requires faithful commitment and daily practice if it is to be a means of deepening our relationship with God.

How do I do Lectio?

To practice Lectio, we should commit ourselves to a specific time (about 30 minutes) each day. Part of the commitment is making that time a priority. We sit quietly for a few moments and focus our minds on Godís presence within.

  1. We begin by reading (lectio) a short passage from scripture, listening intently for Godís word.

  2. We reflect (meditatio) on the word, seeking to know God more deeply. We welcome God, opening ourselves in trust and confidence.

  3. Prayer (oratio) follows naturally. This is prayer of the heart in which we are not so concerned with knowledge about God, but begin to move to the center of our being where God dwells and to communicate with God.

  4. The final level (contemplatio) is simply to be, or to rest, wordless in Godís presence.

Remember, prayer is a gift from God, initiated by the Holy Spirit in us. We, however, can ready ourselves for Godís action. Lectio is a time-tested practice that enables us to be open to the Word.

Liturgy of the Hours