We have studied the practice of Lectio Divina as it is instituted in many convents and monasteries worldwide. There are several methods of practice, quite a few in fact, and any method will serve as long as it brings us to our reading as though God were speaking to us, reading with us, pointing out the things in Scripture that we particularly need to see.
The all-important aspect of Lectio, as the nuns call it, is the interaction between God and His Word and the one who participates. They consider, as we must if we stop to think about it, that since this is a living Word, God is speaking, and we must listen carefully. If God reveals wisdom, we must treat it as silver and gold. If God commands, we must . . . and we can . . . obey!
It is reasonable to guess that one reason Christians do not read their Bibles more than they do is not because they do not have an understanding of these things, but because THEY DO. If the Word of God is alive, and if the Lord will accomplish all His Word, we might shy away. There are so many accounts of God’s judgment in there! There is highlight of our sinful condition on nearly every page!
Ah yes, my beloved Sisters, but written over all is the “paid in full” notice of our redemption! Reading with the Lord, we see our condition, but we see His as well … the unspeakable generosity and mercy of a Father who loved us enough to send His Son to take our place in death. We see the obedience of His Son, His willingness to be made sin for us that we might be made righteous before the Father He loves. We see that love does obey, but obedience isn’t grievous – it is unfailing, unending joy. Unless we know His mercy and grace toward us, unless we trust His redemption and the plans He has for us, we won’t read. We might see something we won’t like in this immutable Word. Yet if we will not hear, we cannot know how truly free we are, free even to suffer for Jesus’ sake and to count it all joy.
I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. (1 John 2:21)
In Lectio, the young postulant who reads the words above will soon read these as well:
Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. (John 13:17)
Lectio is reading at God’s knee.