Lectio divina is a monastic practice that involves our immersion in a Biblical text. To give oneself to this prayerful reading asks for time, attentiveness, study of the historical and geographical context, and a real openness to God’s Spirit and guidance. The reading begins with a prayer and ends with a prayer so it is not just reading to gain information. It is a reading in order to be formed and transformed into Spirit led people who, like Jesus, go about doing good. “God’s word is living and effective, sharper than any tow-edged sword. It penetrates and divides soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the reflections and thoughts of the heart” Heb 4: 12
Pope Francis advised in a recent homily: “to interpret a biblical text we need to be patient, to put aside all other concerns, and to give it our time, interest and undivided attention. We must leave aside any other pressing concerns and create an environment of serene concentration.”
The time between Vigils and Lauds is our special time for Lectio divina but it is an activity that we do whenever we are not doing anything else. On Sundays and hermit days more time can be given to Lectio and also some time is available after Vespers each day.
Some would take the readings for the daily Eucharist while others prefer to do sustained lectio on one or other Book of the Bible. In this way we grow to inhabit the Word of God and allow that Word to be fruitful in our lives.
Usually we do lectio divina in our rooms but newcomers and some of the professed do lectio in common in the Scriptorium. This is an encouragement for newcomers and those in initial formation to persevere in this form of prayer which can be trying especially at 6:00 a.m.!