Sister Edith in a timely post just before Lent in her Monastic Musings blog, comments on a Chicago monk's blog on the method of prayer called Lectio Divina, Divine Readings, the spirituality of which he was using and commenting on in an annual retreat.
Prior Peter, who blogs at Daily Bread, is certainly providing a treat for us while he is on retreat with his community : a full week of postings on the spirituality of lectio divina. "Next to the liturgy ," he say, "lectio is the prime component of monastic spirituality. It is a meeting of the monk with Christ in the Divine Word."
Lest you think this may be simply another presentation of already familiar material, he goes right to the tough questions in his first posting. First, "Are the monks doing their lectio" - or have we let busy days crowd it out? Getting past that, he goes even deeper:
“Let’s assume that monks are doing their lectio. Do they seek answers for their lives in lectio, or do they run to the abbot as soon as there is a problem?”He begins - but just begins! - to answer that question with a theological reflection on the origins of the Christian scriptures in the liturgical and communal life of the Church.
It promises to be a good week of reading!
(Michael Casey, a Cistercian, wrote an entire book, Sacred Reading, on lectio.)
Lectio Divina 1
Lectio Divina 2
Lectio Divina 3
Lectio Divina 4
Lectio Divina 5
Prior Peter's series on Lectio Divina comes to a close with two final suggestions about what to read (besides scripture) and how to read it.
Lest we take any of his suggestions too seriously, or dogmatically, he also included this caveat:
We should be ready at an instant to throw out any old habit if we are moved by the Holy Spirit to approach Scripture in a different way, or if we are moved simply to sit in quiet adoration and intimacy with the Lord. This is the goal, and these suggestions are meant to lead to that goal. They should be left behind when the goal seems to be in reach.