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Lectio Divina

"Holy Reading," or lectio divina, is the slow, prayerful reading of a sacred text, principally the Bible. Christian monastics have always spent time daily pondering the Word of God. At Mississippi Abbey each sister spends at least 30 minutes daily reading Scripture.

The goal of lectio is not gaining information, but a re-formation of our way of thinking. As we read a passage, meditate on it, memorize a few words to repeat during the day, our hope is that our way of thinking will become Christ's way of thinking, that our way of acting will start to be patterned on the Gospel, that our love for Jesus will grow.

Aids to lectio:

  • Do it regularly (daily if possible)
  • Choose in advance what text you will read.
  • Stay with one text; avoid flipping pages.
  • Begin with a prayer for the light of the Holy Spirit
  • Read slowly
  • If a phrase sparks a thought about your own life, or about God's goodness, dialogue with that text in a prayerful way.
  • Commit a few words to memory.
  • Most of all: bring these words to mind during the course of the day: at fixed times, or whenever you have a spare moment.