The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


The process of lectio divina

The ancient process of lectio divina (divine reading) is a form of slowly reading "under the eye of God," waiting for a quickening of heart and listening for the stirring of the Spirit. This isn't like the reading you do for acquiring knowledge and expertise. You are invited to read Scripture, or your life, for formation rather than information. (For more on the distinction between informational and formational reading and lectio divina, see this Web exclusive.) Using this practice — long taught in Benedictine monastic tradition, you will be listening deeply and responding creatively.

For this practice, you will need to set time aside for a slow savoring of the word. It helps if you can set aside a time when you can be both attentive and relaxed, and to practice this regularly.

Lectio divina includes the following movements:

Silencio: The practice begins with recollection. Become aware of your breathing. You may need to stretch your body. Sit in a comfortable position. Let yourself rest in God. Breathe gently and deeply for several minutes before beginning to read. Let go of other concerns.

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February issue


Embracing diversity