Where does Scripture fit in your adult education program? This year, give the adults in your parish the chance to rediscover Scripture and deepen their faith at the same time!
There are a lot of different ways you could do that. But with people’s busy lives, perhaps the best approach might be to reintroduce Lectio Divina, as a Scripture-oriented prayer technique that people can do at home on their own schedule.
The term “Lectio Divina” comes from the Latin for “divine reading.” The technique is a traditional method of reading and meditating on Scripture that originated in monasteries during the 12th century.
The technique involves four steps:
1. Reading a scripture passage slowly.
2. Meditating on the message with a focus on what the Holy Spirit is revealing to you in the passage.
3. Talking to God about what you have come to understand in the passage and how it relates to your own life.
4. Resting in the presence of God.
Encourage people to set aside 45 minutes to an hour every day for Lectio Divina. Urge them to find a specific time each day so Lectio Divina becomes part of their daily schedule.
They should find a quiet place, away from television, radio, telephones and other distractions. It is sometimes helpful to light a prayer candle or to have a statue, icon, or religious picture to gaze at during the session.
It’s also a good idea to start with one of the Gospels with the goal of reading it from beginning to end over the course of several months.
Pope Benedict XVI recommends Lectio Divina for everyone as a way of bringing about “that intimate dialogue in which the person reading hears God, who is speaking, and in praying, responds to him with trusting openness of heart. If it is effectively promoted, this practice will bring to the Church, I am convinced of it, a new spiritual springtime."