Lectio divina, part 2
Learning to feed ourselves
No spiritual “method” works mechanically. That should be said before we move on to a more detailed discussion of the method of lectio divina (as it is called in the Latin tradition). Christian “sacred reading,” as defined within its own tradition, is when God is perceived as present and communing with one’s “heart” (or mind) through the text. It requires of us a prepared state of inner receptivity. Another name for this inner state is “recollection” or, more aptly, re-collection. One re-collects one’s scattered thoughts and, in interior silence, gives undivided attention to the sacred page. In heightened experiences of this practice, the Spirit (or “Breath”) of God is felt to be – as “in the beginning” of all things – creatively brooding over the chaotic deep within the reader (the New Testament uses graphic language about our inner depths, by the way: σπλάγχνα – splagchna – and κοιλία – koilia – refer to the guts or intestines in the first instance, and to the belly and the womb in the second; all that we mean by the “unconscious” – including the dark, untamed, disturbingly irrational aspects of our hidden selves – can be associated with such imagery without too much conceptual strain).
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