Yesterday, I presided at St. James, Parkhill and St. John’s Strathroy. The subject of my homily was, The Road to Belief.  In my homily I led the congregations in the practice of Lectio Divina as a way of engaging scripture which can help people to experience how it speaks to them as a living word.  Here are the steps in the Lectio Divina method.  As I noted in my homily, don’t be put off by the official name of the practice, Lectio Divina.  It simply means sacred or holy reading.

There are four steps in Holy Reading.  The first is to read the passage – the Lectio.  During the reading the intention is to be non-judgemental – just be open to what the passage is speaking to you.  Is there something especially in the passage that catches you attention – a phrase or a word?  Make a mental note of this.  You can use any passage from scripture or an inspirational work that is meaningful for you. 

The second step is meditation – meditatio.  Here we reflect and ponder on what we have read or heard.  Remember that Mary pondered these things in her heart.  Ponder and see how Jesus is speaking to you in the passage of phrase or word that resonates with you.  Ask yourself what does this mean for my life today?  Direct it to God at work in your life. 

The third step is Responding – Oratatio.  This is a prayer – a prayer which is unique and personal to you and comes from the heart.  This may lead to a response in your outer life but it is an inner response initially.  It may be surrendering your will to God – not something we do easily but something which is important if we are to follow where Jesus leads us. 

Finally there is Rest – Contemplatio.  This is resting in the presence of God.  It is knowing that God is with you and that you are in God’s hand.  As it says in the Isaiah passage:

For I, the Lord your God,   hold your right hand;

it is I who say to you, ‘Do not fear,    I will help you.’