Spiritual Practices for the Season of Advent - Lectio Divina
Here at Saint Peter we have embarked on a four-part Faith Forum series on developing individual faith practices. Together we are looking at how we can incorporate habits into our Advent journey to more fully open our hearts to the presence of God. For it is in the season of Advent waiting that we trust God’s promise to come; to join us where we are; to sit with us in our pain and brokenness; to rejoice in our celebrations. The birth of the baby born in the manger is “Emmanuel" — God with us.
Generative Spiritual Practice
Our first week we focused on Generative Spiritual Practices. These are practices that help us generate thoughts and feelings of God’s compassion, love and devotion at work in our lives.
Contemplation is one way to connect with God. It is a powerful blending of prayer, in which we communicate and commune with God; and, meditation, in which we practice presence and awareness. By combining prayer and meditation, we open our heart, mind, body and spirit to how God is speaking to us in our lives.
What Has Been Your Experience With Contemplation?
Consider this Henri Nouwen quote:
Discovering Lectio Divina
Lectio Divina is an ancient practice, once done by all Christians, of slowly praying over scripture, which enables the word of God to become a means of union with God. Elijah says, “Listen for the still voice of God.” (1 Kings)
This type of prayer is a slow activity that has its own spiritual rhythm. Here are the steps.
Find silence, exterior and interior, and focus on your breathing
Read slowly and listen for one word or phrase to enter your mind saying, “I am for you today.”
Reflect on what touches you, allowing this inner rumination to invite you into a dialogue with God. How is God speaking to you?
Respond by opening yourself to how this message may transform you. What is God calling you to do this day or this week?
Rest your body and become familiar with God’s embrace
Of course, there are various interpretations on how to do Lectio Divina. We encourage you to experience it for yourself and choose what works best for you.