Being attentive to the Word of God

In 2019 Pope Francis designated “the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time to be devoted to the celebration, study and dissemination of the Word of God.”  While there are may ways to do so, one of the oldest is known as Lectio Divina (Divine Reading). While there is no strict set of rules, the general process is often explained in 4 or 5 steps, which are described below. 

Before beginning, select a text of the Scriptures that you wish to pray. For example, you might want to consider one from the Daily Mass readings. Get comfortable physically, mentally and spiritually. You may want to say a short prayer, if it helps you to focus.

Read your selected text slowly, attentively, keeping your mind open for the word or phrase that beckons your attention or invites your consideration. You may want to re-read the entire passage a few times before settling. What is the passage saying? 

Meditate on the passage and think of what it means to you. Some people may repeat the phrase as they meditate.  Don’t be discouraged by seemingly irrelevant thoughts. Distractions are normal and may play a role in helping you 

Pray. Share your thoughts on your chosen passage with God. (One source points out that prayer can be via words, ideas or images. You might be surprised to find a new way to pray!). This may be time to ask forgiveness, ask for the grace to forgive, give thanks; share thoughts and fears; and consider how this experience can change you.

Contemplate. Be still in God’s presence. Your may find your mind is quiet, or you may find you are continuing to interact with God. It’s all ok.

Act. Think about how you will live in light of this spiritual change.

Most of all, don’t be discouraged if every encounter doesn’t meet expectations. Every day presents another opportunity.