August 4, 2013

Sharing My Experience Of Lectio Divina

 This past Spring I served as a facilitator at my parish during our "Oremus" prayer retreat. Local priest Fr. Mark Toups developed this series and I can tell you it was a wonderful experience.

Primarily we practiced the art of "lectio divina" as recommended by then Pope Benedict XVI for this "Year Of Faith." Lectio Divina (Latin for divine reading) is an ancient tradition of praying the Scriptures. It's a great form of contemplative prayer in which one rests in God's Presence, slowly reads and re-reads a Scripture verse and then meditates on it - talking to Him and finally - listening to God speak to your heart.

I had a great experience with lectio divina this morning while meditating on Psalm 23 and I wanted to give you just a brief sharing. In this particular experience I had a visual - similar to imaginative prayer but not quite the same. I saw beautiful sunshine and blue skies, and a vast green pasture - as long as I kept my eyes on the Lord. When I took my focus off Him and looked to the side I saw many dead trees and a dark, vast forest. It came to me to see a beautiful, white sheep wandering off the beautiful path and into the dead looking forest - away from HIM. I wondered - where would it go? How would it find it's way in that dead place? Why did the sheep even want to leave His glory? Why do WE? Yet this is exactly what I myself do when I take my eyes off of Him . . . I wander into the darkness.

I ended the prayer wanting to keep my focus on Christ always! I realize that in this daily spiritual battle the enemy is always near - prowling, reaching out to grab us so he can destroy our very souls. He and his minions attack on all sides - but I will "fear no evil" for He "is with me!" As long as I keep my eyes on the Lord and follow HIM - the adversary and his minions are powerless! It seems difficult and yet it's so simple! I - WE - must walk in Faith. Obedience isn't popular anymore - but that's what we must be - trusting Him for everything and listening to His voice. He always goes before us providing a way! All we have to do is follow.

Check this link out for more information on the "Oremus" prayer study program: Ascension Press - Oremus

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