Lectio Divina is the ancient method of prayerfully reading the Bible. Its origins were in monastic orders, but now the practice has become an important part of the lives of many Christians from many different traditions. The method enables the reader to contemplate God and God’s will which deepens the reader’s relationship with God. When beginning a lectio divina of the Bible, the reader is not concerned with study to increase his knowledge or with an expectation of some extraordinary experience. Instead the reader is attempting to listen to what God has to say, to know God’s will, and to live more deeply in allegiance with Jesus Christ. The recommendation of Eli to Samuel is appropriate in this context: “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.” The practice of lectio divina does not depend on the effort of the reader, but entirely on God’s freely-made decision to dialogue with the reader. Like any meditative practice, the right surroundings facilitating attentive listening are important. In addition, the reader must ask what the words actually say, what does the text specifically say to the reader, and what does the text lead the reader to say to God?
~Dr. Gil Haas
St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church