Lectio divina has no goal other than that of being in the presence of God by praying the Scriptures.
The reading or listening which is the first step in lectio divina is very different from the speed reading which modern Christians apply to newspapers, books and even to the Bible. Lectio is reverential listening; listening both in a spirit of silence and of awe. We are listening for the still, small voice of God that will speak to us personally – not loudly, but intimately. In lectio we read slowly, attentively, gently listening to hear a word or phrase that is God’s word for us this day.
Fr. Luke Dysinger outlines the steps in the ancient art of Lectio Divina:
- Lectio – reading/listening
- Meditatio – meditation
- Oratio – prayer
- Contemplatio – contemplation
He explains how Lectio Divina can be used in private, as a group exercise and as a reflection on life.
Lectio Divina teaches us about the God who truly loves us. In lectio divina we dare to believe that our loving Father continues to extend His embrace to us today. And His embrace is real. In His word we experience ourselves as personally loved by God; as the recipients of a word which He gives uniquely to each of us whenever we turn to Him in the Scriptures.