“To get the full flavour of a herb, it must be pressed between the fingers.
So it is the same with the Scriptures” – St. John Chrysostom, 347-407 A.D

AIM: To introduce Lectio Divina as a method of prayer with Scripture and other resources.

Our Intentions:

Participants will . . . .

  • become aware of the background to and practice of Lectio Divina

  • experience Lectio Divina as a group and as individuals

  • be given an opportunity to use Scripture, poetry and traditional prayers as resources for Lectio Divina, and later – literary extracts and images

  • be introduced to a structure for prayer, and ideally come to value this

Welcome and Stilling

Feedback from Session 2 (Reflective Living)

  • What did you use for prayer and journaling last week and how did you find it?

  • What questions or comments, if any, did it raise for you?

Lectio Divina: A Method of Prayer

  • Introduction

  • Group Lectio : from Ps 139

  • Feedback


Individual Prayer

  • Edwina Gateley, Called to Become

  • Feedback

Led Review of the Day

Closure (Home-time work)

Music: Benediction – Spirit Wind

Light of Light, you have searched me out and known me.

You know where I am and where I go, you see my thoughts from afar.

You discern my paths and my resting places, you are acquainted with all my ways.

Yes, and not a word comes from my lips, but you, O God, have heard it already.

You are in front of me and you are behind me, you have laid your hand on my shoulder.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, so great that I cannot fathom it.

Where shall I go to flee from your Presence? If I climb to the heavens you are there: if I descend to the depths of the earth, you are there also.

If I spread my wings towards the morning, and fly to the uttermost shores of the sea, even there your hand will lead me, and your right hand will hold me.

If I should cry to the darkness to cover me, and the night to enclose me, the darkness is not darkness to you, and the night is as clear as day.

For you have created every part of my being, cell and tissue, blood and bone.

You have woven me in the womb of my mother; I will praise you, so wonderfully am I made.

Awesome are your deeds and marvellous are your works.

You know me to the very core of my being; nothing in me was hidden from your eyes when I was formed in silence and secrecy, in intricate splendour in the depths of the earth.

Even as they were forming you saw my limbs, each part of my body shaped by your finger.

How deep are your thoughts to me, O God, how great is the sum of them.

Were I to count them they are more in number than the grains of sand upon the sea shore – and still I would know nothing about you – yet still would you hold me in the palm of your hand.

Jim Cotter (abridged)

You are called to become

A perfect creation.

No one is called to become

Who you are called to be.

It does not matter

How short or tall

Or thick-set or slow

You may be.

It does not matter

Whether you sparkle with life

Or are as silent as a still pool.

Whether you sing your song aloud

Or weep alone in darkness.

It does not matter

Whether you feel loved and admired

Or unloved and alone

For you are called to become

A perfect creation.

No one’s shadow

Should cloud your becoming.

No one’s light

Should dispel your spark.

For the Lord delights in you.

Jealously looks upon you

And encourages with gentle joy

Every movement of the Spirit

Within you.

Unique and loved you stand.

Beautiful or stunted in your growth

But never without hope and life.

For you are called to become

A perfect creation.

This becoming may be

Gentle or harsh.

Subtle or violent.

But it never ceases.

Never pauses or hesitates.

Only is—

Creative force—

Calling you

Calling you to become

A perfect creation.

Edwina Gateley, There Was No Path So I Trod One (1996, 2013)

Take a comfortable position, become aware of the silence . . of your breathing . . of God’s presence.

  1. Read the text slowly, reflectively, perhaps even aloud or listen to it being read.
    Listen for the ‘still small voice’ of a word or phrase or image that ‘speaks’ to you, ‘stands out’ for you.

  2. Repeat the word or phrase, ruminate on it, chew it, digest it, allowing it to touch memories, thoughts, attitudes, desires etc.
    If you feel empty or become distracted, don’t worry: focus, with gratitude, on the fact that God is present to you and that the Holy Spirit is praying within you; and turn your mind back again to what originally ‘drew’ you.
    If you finish pondering one point, go on to the next that spoke to you.

  3. Speak to God as to a friend about what’s going on in your mind and heart as you ruminate.

  4. Close your prayer time with thanksgiving, either in your own words or with a familiar prayer, e.g. the Our Father or the Glory be to the Father, or . . . .

  5. Rest and delight in God’s presence.

Psalm 23

Psalm 121

Psalm 139 (see above)

Isaiah 49: 14-16

Matthew 10: 29-31

Ephesian 3: 16-21

Colossians 1: 15-20

Try using Lectio Divina with this image. You may focus on either the words or the image or both. When focusing on the image, allow your eyes to roam over the picture. Notice where they linger . . Explore those points . . Perhaps the hands of our potter God moulding you. What do you see …feel . . .sense? What do you want to say to God? What do you sense God may be saying to you?

Complete any unfinished parts of what we did in the session.

    1. Prayer: Use Lectio Divina with one or more of the suggested Scriptural texts or the poem or the image. The guidelines on lectio may help. Remember to use your journal to review your prayer.

    2. ReadingArticle 1 – Stephen Ortiger, Let This Book Read You and Article 2 – Luke Dysinger, Accepting the Embrace of God: The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina.
      Use the reflective reading guidelines to record in your journal your response to whichever article you choose. Next week there will be a group reflection on the articles.