The method of Lectio Divina includes moments of reading (lectio), reflecting on (meditatio), responding to (oratio), and resting in (contemplatio) the Word of God with the aim of nourishing and deepening one’s relationship with the Lord.
Lectio | Prayerfully Place the Word on your Lips
To begin place yourself in the presence of God. The practice known as “centering prayer” makes a good introduction to lectio divina. Call upon the Holy Spirit to guide your mind and your heart in this time of prayer. Sitting comfortably become still and silent. Focus for a few moments on your breathing
Choose a passage of the Scriptures that you wish to pray. You may use the readings from the Eucharistic liturgy for the day or if you prefer slowly work through a selected book of the Bible. Then read the text slowly, gently. Savor each portion of the reading, constantly listening for the “still, small voice” of a word or phrase In lectio divina God is teaching us to listen to Him, to seek Him in silence. He softly, gently invites us ever more deeply into His presence.
Meditatio | Reflect on the Word
Savor the Word, which is ‘food for your soul’. Next take the word or phrase into yourself. Memorize it and slowly repeat it to yourself, allowing it to interact with your inner world of concerns, memories and ideas. Do not be afraid of distractions .Memories or thoughts are simply parts of yourself which, when they rise up during lectio divina, are asking to be given to God along with the rest of your inner self. Allow this inner pondering, this rumination, to invite you into dialogue with God.
Oratio | Speak to God
Whether you use words or ideas or images or all three is not important. Interact with God as you would with one who you know loves and accepts you. And give to Him what you have discovered in yourself during your experience of meditatio. Experience God using the word or phrase that He has given you as a means of blessing, of transforming the ideas and memories, which your pondering on His word has awakened. Give to God what you have found within your heart.
Contemplatio | Gentle Resting in the Lord
Finally simply rest in God’s embrace. And when He invites you to return to your pondering of His word or to your inner dialogue with Him, do so. Learn to use words when words are helpful, and to let go of words when they no longer are necessary. Rejoice in the knowledge that God is with you in both words and silence, in spiritual activity and inner receptivity.
Sometimes in lectio divina one will return several times to the printed text, either to savor the literary context of the word or phrase that God has given, or to seek a new word or phrase to ponder. At other times only a single word or phrase will fill the whole time set aside for lectio divina. It is not necessary to anxiously assess the quality of one’s lectio divina as if one were “performing” or seeking some goal: lectio divina has no goal other than that of being in the presence of God by praying the Scriptures.
Taken from Conversing with God in Scripture | Stephen J. Binz | The Word Among Us | Used With Permission