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Source: (consider it) Thread: 8D - Kempistry - Lectio Divina
Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
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Naturally I first came upon discussions about Lectio Divina here, and I found the idea of such intense reflection on a text intriguing.

I had occasion to try it at a retreat, working from a verse from Isaiah. It really seemed to speak to me-- I suffer from frequent "monkey brain" , and the act of slowing down my thoughts seems to actively combat this.

I have toyed around using other texts than Scripture-- Buddhist Sutras, for instance, or "program" literature. Has anyone else worked with it?

[ 06. December 2014, 01:35: Message edited by: RuthW ]

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

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balaam

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Me, I have.

What I like is that it is the opposite of Bible study. Instead of intellectualising a text it is simply repeated slowly. It is good at letting the Bible speak.

The weakness is that with meditation on such a small part of scripture people tend to use the nice bits. I have yet to find anyone pushing Lectio Divina to push the more challenging bits of scripture. Yet there is a lot to be said for meditating on those parts of the Bible that make you feel uncomfortable.

(I'm not against Bible study, I do that as well.)

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IngoB

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quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
I had occasion to try it at a retreat, working from a verse from Isaiah. It really seemed to speak to me-- I suffer from frequent "monkey brain" , and the act of slowing down my thoughts seems to actively combat this.

Lectio Divina is one of my favourite "tools" as well, and I have next to no "monkey brain". (In my Zen days I came to appreciate that I seem to have a gift to let go of conscious thought.)

However, I'm a bit confused by your statement that you were "working from a verse from Isaiah". Lectio Divina is not really supposed to start by working on a single verse, though that may be the outcome of it. Could you explain this a bit?

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They’ll have me whipp’d for speaking true; thou’lt have me whipp’d for lying; and sometimes I am whipp’d for holding my peace. - The Fool in King Lear

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IngoB

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quote:
Originally posted by balaam:
The weakness is that with meditation on such a small part of scripture people tend to use the nice bits. I have yet to find anyone pushing Lectio Divina to push the more challenging bits of scripture. Yet there is a lot to be said for meditating on those parts of the Bible that make you feel uncomfortable.

Traditionally, Lectio Divina is used to systematically read through an entire book of the bible, and over time, through the entire bible (and then that over and over again). Likewise for Lectio Divina of other texts, e.g., the writings of a Saint. Once more the intention would be to read the entire text (or at least a coherent chunk of it that can stand alone), basically from start to finish, over several sessions. The closest modern equivalent is hence actually a "bible reading plan", except that in Lectio Divina one is not supposed to jump around at all (i.e., you wouldn't have a bit of OT, then a psalm, then a bit of NT - as many modern bible reading plans do).

I have never used it otherwise, and in fact never heard a different recommendation. So if I say that I'm doing Lectio Divina on say Isaiah, currently, I mean that I started with 1:1 "The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah..." and will eventually end with 66:24 "...their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh." Obviously that will take a while, but that's OK.

Perhaps to elaborate then on my query to Kelly, what should happen in this long "slow reading" process is that now and then something "pops out" and that one then gets stuck on say a particular phrase or verse. In a sense this "getting caught up" is really the aim, it is what triggers meditation and by God's grace contemplation. But in my understanding of Lectio Divina one exactly does not realise that aim by focusing on any verse from the start. The idea is precisely to have the word spontaneously grab one as one slowly moves through all of it. The method sort of maximises the opportunities to be taken, by allowing a lot of time for every word to ignite the soul, but it does not at all force any focus. Its power sits precisely in being entirely open to any part of the text becoming "it". Like in all contemplative methods, the key is to become passive but open and to "lose oneself" in a continuous action. To approach Lectio Divina with "I would really like to read that particular passage again" is in my mind really at odds with what the method is trying to do...

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They’ll have me whipp’d for speaking true; thou’lt have me whipp’d for lying; and sometimes I am whipp’d for holding my peace. - The Fool in King Lear

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Ariel
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It can be enormously fruitful. When I did it I took one of the daily readings from Sacred Space and used that - there was one occasion when I didn't get past the first few words as there was so much in them.

It can sometimes be helpful to read the same verse in different translations. You can get a slightly different perspective each time and come away thinking different things.

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Autenrieth Road

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IngoB, that is a brand new understanding for me of what Lectio Divina is. Thank you.

To start it, do you start at the beginning of the Bible? Or can you pick which book you'll read through first?

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Truth

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Adam.

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I do a daily lectio, usually with (a part of) the scripture reading from the office of readings, which gives a pretty balanced diet of 'nice bits' and 'hard bits' (no gospel, but I do plenty of other forms of prayer with the gospels as part of preparing myself to preach).

I've always been taught (and taught) lectio as starting with a pericope and then focusing on a word or very short phrase.

The office of readings starts with three psalm portions, which serve (at the very least) to focus me and quiet my mind down. (preparatio, the 0th step).

Then, I read the reading, which is generally about a chapter long (lectio). Then, I find what paragraph drew me, and re-read that paragraph and find what word or short phrase drew me.

Then, I try to sit with that word of phrase, maybe seeing it, feeling it, or just repeating it. (meditatio).

Then, I re-read the paragraph. One technique I sometimes use would be to repeat my word or phrase at each pause in the text.

Then, I talk to God about what just happened (oratio). If I'm stuck for what to talk about, or am worried I'm stuck in a rut, I'll go through the four words of prayer: sorry, thank you, please, wow. Or I'll go through the following questions: how does God do this for me? How do I do this for God? How do I do this for neighbor? How do neighbors do this for me? Some of those question might be more or less appropriate depending on what 'this' is (and 'do' might need to be replaced be 'be'). Sometimes, I just rest in gratitude or awe. Sometimes, I'll be called to make some response in action or prayer.

I re-read my paragraph.

Then, I try to just sit with that response for a while. This is the bit I probably short change the most. (meditatio).

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EloiseA
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I start off with the daily Office of Readings for the liturgy and also read something from the saint of the day -- there are usually links in the Catholic Encyclopedia to writings, sermons, etc. Yesterday for example was the Feast of St Gregory.

Often I take a word or two that draws my attention from these readings, sometimes an antiphon or invocation and then I sit with that for 45 minutes to an hour. This time and the meditation on these few words often leads into a kind of heartfelt spontaneous prayer, not always immediately but the words or something felt stay with me through the day and then I return to it in the evening.

If there seems to be more for me to absorb in the phrases or readings, I go back to them for a day or two, just staying with the phrase and waiting. It becomes more of a contemplative process rather than discursive.

I learned to pray and reflect this way when I was in my mid-20s and it has become very much part of my life now, although I work with other devotional practices too, especially in times of dryness and doubt.

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EloiseA
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Just thinking -- for a number of years I read through the Bible month after month with commentaries and concordances to help me because I was getting to know the texts in depth -- that more analytical and discovering process was perhaps closer to the practice of Lectio Divina as Ingo describes. My prayer followed the active Ignatian method and the two practices together worked well for me up to a point.

Then I found I could no longer pray in certain ways and so I changed to a more 'passive' rather than 'active' kind of praying.

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“You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd.” Flannery O'Connnor

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
I had occasion to try it at a retreat, working from a verse from Isaiah. It really seemed to speak to me-- I suffer from frequent "monkey brain" , and the act of slowing down my thoughts seems to actively combat this.

Lectio Divina is one of my favourite "tools" as well, and I have next to no "monkey brain". (In my Zen days I came to appreciate that I seem to have a gift to let go of conscious thought.)

However, I'm a bit confused by your statement that you were "working from a verse from Isaiah". Lectio Divina is not really supposed to start by working on a single verse, though that may be the outcome of it. Could you explain this a bit?

I was misremembering-- it was an entire Psalm ( though a short one). We had a sheet with some guidance about how to read. Then we were sent off in the woods to find an alone place.

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
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More memory is coming back after reading IngoB's description of the process ( yeah! That's what happened!) and Hart's rundown of his routine, which is what I was looking for.

I only had the formal experience once, knew it appealed to me, but wikipedia and such wasn't giving me the information I wanted. Thank you all so much for your guidance!

And IngoB-- yes, that is a gift! An enviable one!

One problem I have to point out is that I really lost track of time-- I was late to a group worship the first time I tried it [Hot and Hormonal]

Should I set a timer or something?

[ 04. September 2014, 15:09: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

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IngoB

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quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
IngoB, that is a brand new understanding for me of what Lectio Divina is. Thank you. To start it, do you start at the beginning of the Bible? Or can you pick which book you'll read through first?

Generally you would pick a book you feel like reading through. Of course, you may have a long term plan (like "reading through the entire bible" or "reading the OT in historical order" or "reading all the Wisdom books") that influences the choice of the book. And it generally would be unwise to repeatedly read one book while neglecting others. But in principle this is about getting you engaged with the word, and that shouldn't sort of run into a brick wall just because you force yourself to read something you don't want to read right now.

Furthermore, with all due respect, what Hart is describing is not quite the process of Lectio Divina that I know, mostly from various monastic sources. That process is really a bit simpler (and, I'm prepared to argue, more conducive to contemplation).

First, there is indeed preparation. Importantly, this also concerns space and time, i.e., one should withdraw to a quiet and reasonably comfortable place with sufficient time at hand. One cannot do this if constantly disturbed or under pressure to finish up. Furthermore, it is always very helpful to have a routine "intro" and "outro" for any contemplative activity. Basically that becomes over time a habitual reminder to switch into and out of the right mode for this. I just use a couple of standard vocal prayers that I like at each end, and the lighting and extinguishing of a candle.

Second, you read. As mentioned before, this should be a continuous reading of a book of the bible (or of some other spiritual text). You start in the beginning, and you continue to the end. If you cannot finish it in one session (which is usually the case), then that simply means that next time you sit down you pick up where you left off. If you finish your book, but have time left in your session, then you simply start with some other book. It is important to read slowly. This is near impossible for me (I'm a speed reader...), and in fact very few people are as slow as one should read. So there's a simple trick. Read aloud. It doesn't have to be in a particularly loud voice, as long as you mouth the words audibly. This basically gets you the right speed. With experience, you can stop voicing again because the proper speed has become clear, but personally I find it helpful to continue doing it.

The most important point about Lectio Divina is that that is all there is to it. Really. Anything else are nice things that can and hopefully will happen, but they are decidedly not necessary. It is an entirely acceptable Lectio Divina session if you simply read through the text, close the session and go away. This is, I feel, of the utmost importance (and it is the reason why I don't like what Hart wrote so much...).

Third, what can happen, and typically will happen several times, is that as you slowly read through the text, something strikes you as interesting, inspiring, weird, beautiful, ugly, ... Basically, your mind goes "hold on a second" for some reason or the other. At this very point (not later!) you should meditate about this piece of text. This is not meditation in the Buddhist sense, but in a Christian sense. Basically it means to busy your mind with this. Read it again. Think about it. Read it again. Feel what it does to your heart. Read it again. Let it just stand there in your mind. Read it again. Etc. Basically you are chewing the text, trying to suck all flavour out of it that you can. Once more, this could be it. If nothing else happens, then once the text becomes stale you just go back to reading!

Fourth, what often but not always happens as you meditate on a text as described above, is that you feel inspired to some kind of prayer about it. This should not be forced at all! If it happens, it simply is a natural consequence of chewing out this piece of scripture. It can be anything, from loud praise to bitter complaint, propositional or emotional, expressed in words or a silent groan, the whole bandwidth of prayer. But it is not put on the text by you. It arises from meditating on the text in you. It is bottom up, not top down. An outflow of your meditation. But it is not a necessary consequence of that meditation, as mentioned, just a possibility. Furthermore, once again if nothing else happens as you pray, then you just finish your prayer. And then you just continue reading the next bit, you continue the practice.

Fifth, rarely as you spontaneously pray, you suddenly sort of go ... elsewhere. This is really quite distinct from the praying and for me at least (the few times it has happened...), there was a sort of going away from things without disintegrating. A "zoning out" while being really clear about all. Anyway, this may just be me, and who knows what it was worth. But a God-given state of contemplation above and beyond the prayer is indeed what is supposed to happen by grace, is a kind of experiential pinnacle. Nevertheless, it is not necessary (and indeed rare), and what are you supposed to do if it happens, once you snap out of it? Indeed, simply go back to the reading and carry on with the Lectio Divina.

Sixth, after the session (which as mentioned should include some kind of finishing ritual), and really during the time till the next session one should really think about how to put the insights one has gained from reading - and likely meditation, and possibly prayer, and rarely contemplation - into practice. Personally, I notoriously suck at this bit. But it is obviously important.

Once more however I would like to stress that there must be nothing to Lectio Divina but reading. If you try to force any of the "higher" parts, they will not work as they should, they will be artificial. Of course, you sort of aim all the way to contemplation by doing this. But at the same time you must not aim at this. You must try really hard to be entirely spontaneous in a specific cascade of activities. That sounds crazy, I know, but that's just how it is. At least for triggering the first bit (meditation), that does not tend to be so difficult though. The bible really is the sort of text where your mind will stumble over something eventually, if you go slow...

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They’ll have me whipp’d for speaking true; thou’lt have me whipp’d for lying; and sometimes I am whipp’d for holding my peace. - The Fool in King Lear

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
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I guess you've hit upon something that makes this work for me-- I read really, really fast. Setting myself the task of slowing down my reading from the onset is a good discipline for me.

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

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IngoB

Sentire cum Ecclesia
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quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
I guess you've hit upon something that makes this work for me-- I read really, really fast. Setting myself the task of slowing down my reading from the onset is a good discipline for me.

Actually, it's a bit more than that. Reading aloud is quite different psychologically from reading silently. Try it, you will see...

Oh, and it is of course perfectly fine to use a timer. Perhaps one that is not terribly annoying when it fires, so as to not spoil the mood. (There are nice meditations timers, which only flash a mild light or the like.)

Taking a timer if you have time constraints is exactly right, because it takes your mind off worrying about the time. And I mean taking a timer, not bringing a watch. If you have a watch, you will keep looking at it to keep the time. That's not what you want to do.

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They’ll have me whipp’d for speaking true; thou’lt have me whipp’d for lying; and sometimes I am whipp’d for holding my peace. - The Fool in King Lear

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
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My iPad has a nice windchime thing that would do the trick.

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
I guess you've hit upon something that makes this work for me-- I read really, really fast. Setting myself the task of slowing down my reading from the onset is a good discipline for me.

Actually, it's a bit more than that. Reading aloud is quite different psychologically from reading silently. Try it, you will see...


Oh, I have. I used to read short stories aloud at open mics. Given that my silent reading speed is about 4 times that of my speaking speed, I immediately noticed how much more I was getting out of my reading when I practiced out loud.

(Gratuitous admin edit as I didn't want to triple post)

Actually I think I have picked up the knack of creating an interior audio speaking- speed voice, which I access when making the effort to try lectio.

[ 04. September 2014, 18:29: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

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balaam

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Following a whole book or following a lectionary looks like a great idea. The people who initially taught me Lectio Divina suggested choosing study thematically, such as the I am passages in John's Gospel.

Which is where my comment about the nice bits in the Bible this morning were coming from. It was being taught by people who seemed to be going for getting warm fluffy feelings. But that is how it seemed to me, I'm probably giving them a big disservice.

One thing I have learned, if you just read and nothing "pops out" it does not matter. It is down to God to speak, if it doesn't happen move on. There's always next time.

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Ariel
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There are quite a few "Lectio Divina" apps out there which are quite useful if you're on the move a lot.
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Lyda*Rose

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Your version of Lectio Divina really excites me, IngoB! I learned a somewhat simpler version of Hart's type and frankly, I couldn't sustain it. Now I've just got to choose a book and give it a shot.

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"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life." ~from Joe Vs the Volcano

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Adeodatus
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IngoB, you exactly described Lectio Divina as I understand it (except that I had to read several fairly stodgy books, instead of one fairly brief post on a bulletin board...). And I completely agree about reading aloud. I don't often read in "full voice", but I do make sure that my tongue and lips form the words. One effect that it has for me is the very physical one that if I'm allowing myself that little bit of movement, the rest of my body seems happier to stay still.

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"What is broken, repair with gold."

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IngoB

Sentire cum Ecclesia
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quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:
There are quite a few "Lectio Divina" apps out there which are quite useful if you're on the move a lot.

I'm a tad confused what those apps would do? All I would need is a bible text and perhaps a bookmark function. I can get that for free for example from the Ignatius app (RSV-CE 2nd ed.)

However, to be honest I'm not sure that staring at an iPhone would work for me anyhow. Perhaps iPad size would be OK visually, but I find the tactile experience of holding a book quite nice for this.

quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
Your version of Lectio Divina really excites me, IngoB!

[Smile] Just perhaps one more tip: no following cross-references, no consulting commentaries, no looking at maps, no alternative translations, no nothing. Resist the urge to do anything but a linear reading of just one bible text. I consciously use a plain bible which has no extras, rather than one of my fancy study bibles. Those are just too tempting and even a bit visually distracting (the bible text tends to be crowded by all the other stuff). For Lectio Divina, it is you and the text and nothing else.

quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
IngoB, you exactly described Lectio Divina as I understand it (except that I had to read several fairly stodgy books, instead of one fairly brief post on a bulletin board...).

I'm glad to hear that. IIRC my sources were mostly Benedictine, though to be honest I'm not sure that I could reconstruct now all the various sources (books, web, people...) I have this from originally.

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They’ll have me whipp’d for speaking true; thou’lt have me whipp’d for lying; and sometimes I am whipp’d for holding my peace. - The Fool in King Lear

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Autenrieth Road

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IngoB, thank you very very much for that longer description.

It's interesting you say your sources were Benedictine -- I keep stumbling over Benedictine spirituality in unexpected places. Well, not really unexpected places, but whenever I stumble over some practice that calls to me that has a monastic source, lo and behold, it always turns out to be from the Benedictines.

Now I have to find my Bible. Which will cause me to neaten up at least a little part of my house while I'm looking. Which will be a good Benedictine prayer all by itself.

Thank you.

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Truth

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
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quote:
Just perhaps one more tip: no following cross-references, no consulting commentaries, no looking at maps, no alternative translations, no nothing. Resist the urge to do anything but a linear reading of just one bible text. I consciously use a plain bible which has no extras, rather than one of my fancy study bibles. Those are just too tempting and even a bit visually distracting (the bible text tends to be crowded by all the other stuff). For Lectio Divina, it is you and the text and nothing else.
Yes, this is very important. The reading should be seamless.

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

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Ariel
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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:
There are quite a few "Lectio Divina" apps out there which are quite useful if you're on the move a lot.

I'm a tad confused what those apps would do? All I would need is a bible text and perhaps a bookmark function. I can get that for free for example from the Ignatius app (RSV-CE 2nd ed.)
Mine is a free app that gives you a short reading of the verses prescribed for the day. It's useful if you don't want to carry a Bible around with you.

It also gives you the liturgy of the hours from Universalis, should you want it.

[ 05. September 2014, 07:04: Message edited by: Ariel ]

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Adeodatus
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quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:
It also gives you the liturgy of the hours from Universalis, should you want it.

This is useful. I usually practice Lectio with the slight variation that I use lectionary readings. I get through the book slower - sometimes taking days or weeks - but the advantage is, I'm having a text imposed on me rather than choosing one myself. Otherwise, it would never occur to me to choose, say, Habakkuk.

The point about cross-references, footnotes, etc., is excellent. I asked a while back in Kerygmania, if anyone knew of an edition of the Bible that had just the text and nothing else. (I'd prefer not even to have verse numbers. Chapters, maybe, but I find verse numbers distracting.) I was met mostly with blank incomprehension. Wrong board, I guess.

[Edited because I can't even spell Habakkuk, let alone read him!]

[ 05. September 2014, 08:15: Message edited by: Adeodatus ]

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IngoB

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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
The point about cross-references, footnotes, etc., is excellent. I asked a while back in Kerygmania, if anyone knew of an edition of the Bible that had just the text and nothing else. (I'd prefer not even to have verse numbers. Chapters, maybe, but I find verse numbers distracting.) I was met mostly with blank incomprehension. Wrong board, I guess.

Ask, and you will receive: Bibliotheca Kickstarter. Still available for pre-ordering here. That's an ASV translation, but it really looks nice and optionally can include the Deuterocanonical books ("Apocrypha" for those raised on slimmed bibles). Or you can go for the ESV Reader's Bible right now. It's not an option for me because Crossway stubbornly refuses to cater to the Catholic "fat bible" market.

Of course, if you reduce your decluttering demands somewhat, and allow verse numbers, then there are quite a number of reader-friendly options out there. If you want to know what I use at the moment, I use a HarperCollins' (Anglicised, Catholic) NRSV, which costs a mere US$20. You can sample the pages here, the number in the URL is the ISBN, which allows you to google for many vendors.

[ 05. September 2014, 09:32: Message edited by: IngoB ]

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Ariel
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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
I get through the book slower - sometimes taking days or weeks - but the advantage is, I'm having a text imposed on me rather than choosing one myself. Otherwise, it would never occur to me to choose, say, Habakkuk.

Precisely. It makes it more challenging to be stuck with, as it might be, a bit of Jeremiah when you least expect it. I have this (and the free "Pray As You Go" app) on the morning commute and find it a useful way of starting the day.

Looking at alternative translations is something I've found useful on occasion. Also, reading it in the original can be useful. But there's more than one way to climb a mountain; you have to find what works best for you.

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Adam.

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Fascinating to read about these different approaches to lectio. For what it's worth, mine is a personalization of what was taught to me by a few different Benedictines (both of a more 'modern' stripe and a more 'traditional' one). But, Ingo's makes better sense of some early(ish) monastic texts that I've come across. Not that they spell it out exactly the way he does, but what he writes makes better sense of what they do say about lectio. Good job no-one is trying to assert copyright on the phrase!

I entirely accept the labeling of my method as artificial. I view that as no bad thing at all. The grandest of cathedrals are artifices and bring many souls to God. It's also quite easy for the organic to grow out of the artificial, just look at the moss on the cathedral walls.

The wonder of the artificial in no way detracts from, and should not seek to compete with, the glory of the natural. Indeed, the natural can maybe claim a certain purity that the artificial lacks. But, both can present to us the hand of the creator.

I might compare my method to a couple that decides to have an 'institutionalized' date night. If a couple are very happy without one, spend plenty of quality time together, etc., I would never recommend they institute one. But, I'd be wary of telling a couple who delighted in theirs to get rid of it, and I might recommend committing to one to a couple who found themselves drifting apart in busy-ness.

Another analogy maybe could be drawn from the mundane world of sports practices. 'My' form would correspond to the technical drill and 'Ingo''s to the freeform scrimmage or 'kick around.' I think both have their usefulness in training for virtue.

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Kelly Alves

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Heck if setting a routine genuinely gives one a better comfort level, how is it artifice? Some folk need more structure than others.

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Adam.

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quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
how is it artifice?

I'm trying to reclaim that word as a good thing. Eytmologically, 'artifice' is just that which is made (factum) by art.

Of course, like any good thing which isn't God, it can become an idol and we should guard against that by engaging in ascesis from it at times.

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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
I use a HarperCollins' (Anglicised, Catholic) NRSV, which costs a mere US$20.

I use an NRSV with no footnotes for LD too. And definitely not the ESV study Bible which is more footnote than text.

There's something about the NRSV that works for this, but I'n not sure what it is.

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Autenrieth Road

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(This is about why IngoB's description is so very attractive to me, and not at all about what is or could be attractive or helpful to anyone else.)

For me, what is very helpful about IngoB's description is that it just asks me to read. That I can do. And then stop right away and reflect on bits that catch at my attention. That I can do too.

I don't have to worry about having to do a deliberate prayer step and a deliberate contemplation step. Trying to do those deliberately seems like a horrible unattainable prospect to me right now, so it's very nice to have the permission that they don't have to happen and I don't have to try to do them. Also IngoB's description reassures me that if something changes and prayer or contemplation happens, that I will know how to do it -- it will already be happening -- and I don't have to worry about doing it wrong.

In line with that, even the stopping and reflecting right away is a conditional: IF something catches my attention, then reflect. But it's OK if nothing catches my attention. Also IngoB's permission gives me permission to reflect in whatever way I reflect; it doesn't feel like there's any subtext that my reflections have to fit into any stereotypical "spiritual" box. And I don't have to decide how much I'm going to read, I'm relieved of all care on that front, it's just "start, and keep going until you want to stop. Then start again the next day."

But basically, all I have to do is read. I like reading. And think about things that catch my attention. I like doing that too.

[ 05. September 2014, 19:31: Message edited by: Autenrieth Road ]

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Glad to see this board and this thread.

When I do lectio (not often enough), I do it on the ferial Gospel of the day appointed for Mass in the Episcopal Church. By "ferial" I mean whichever Gospel is appointed for the day exclusive of any lesser or greater feast days: if it were a regular, standard day.

I like the "givenness" of this and don't want to have to choose my own texts. It also gives me texts in course from day to day.

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Kelly Alves

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I like the idea of using the daily readings because it is pretty much guaranteed that there will be thousands of others reading it with me. Perhaps a few of them might even be using it for lectio.

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

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MrsBeaky
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Lectio Divina is the way I have read the Bible for years and it has been a source of life and joy to me. I'd even go so far as to say that it is the main practice that has held me in through thick and thin though probably more so in the past than now.
I have also found that sometimes it causes me to ask myself study type questions so I've taken to jotting them down and then at another time trying to research the answers. I love how the Scriptures can be fruitful in such different ways

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fullgospel
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This has been very helpful to me.

Thank you all.

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on the one hand - self doubt
on the other, the universe that looks through your eyes - your eyes

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