How can we welcome the Word of God when it’s so easily snatched away by the busyness of our lives; or the rocks of bitterness, greed and apathy; or the thorns of despair and worry?
There is an ancient and much loved way of tending the soul and integrating God’s word into our hearts called lectio divina, literally “divine reading”. Lectio Divina uses a contemplative process of reflective reading of scripture and other sacred writings (lectio).
We read and reflect, read and reflect, holding the word in our hearts and asking to know the divine truth we need for our lives this day (meditatio).
We may talk to God as casually as we talk to a friend (oratio).
When suddenly a new truth is revealed, there is a moment of awareness, of re-awakening, and we rest in oneness with God to drink in the meaning of this insight for our lives (contemplio).
We may use this process to weave in and out of our walking meditation. We can stop for a moment to read a bit, then chew on a fragment as we walk along; then converse with God; then pause to rest….to be still and know that God is God.
There are many others who can describe this method of reflection better than I can. I would recommend the following websites:
In our prayer walks — we have the time to walk slowly
and to listen with the heart….to abide in the hidden mystery of God’s presence…to wait for God’s revelation of truth to us.
Or, we can use this process of divine reading wherever we are: at home, in hospital, in nursing care, whatever the circumstances of your life might be.
Begin by quieting the soul. Imagine yourself enfolded with the natural reverence that comes from an awareness of the divine presence within and around you.
Empty yourself of the cluttered mind …. and be at one with God.
Begin slowly — remembering the words of Psalm 46:
Be still and know that I am God.
Pray silently the words of Galatians 2:20 :
“It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”
Pause to read the words of Psalm 23
Because the LORD is my Shepherd
I shall lack nothing.
In green pastures you let me lie down
to quiet waters you lead me.
You restore my soul.
You lead me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even when I wander in a dark valley
I need fear no evil
for you are with me.
Your rod and staff give me courage.
You spread a table before my eyes
in view of my enemies.
You anoint my head with the oil of blessing.
My cup of joy overflows.
I know that your goodness and mercy
will follow me as long as I live
and that I will dwell forever
in the house of your loving presence.
As you walk or sit in meditation….rest in the Word….reflecting on what it means for you.
Wandering in a dark valley
to quiet waters you lead me.
My soul is restored.
Let the words of the Shepherd enfold you.
Listen for the gift that is to be revealed to you.
Your Word is like a lamp to my feet,
like a light upon a dark path. Psalm 119:105
From my writings on Walking Meditation in Whispers in the Wind