Thursday, March 4, 2010

A little lectio this Lent

In our Lenten class at church on Wednesday, we continued our discussion of a book called "Longing for God: the Seven Paths of Christian Devotion" by Richard Foster and Gayle Beebe.

We looked at the ancient practice of lectio divina, or divine reading, which is also a subject in the book.

This meditative reading of Holy Scripture is an excellent way of receiving God the Holy Spirit's needed direction for one's life. It also allows the Spirit to continue forming our souls in the image of Jesus Christ.

With my lectio--which, alas, is occasional, not daily--I'll take a passage of Scripture from the readings for the Daily Office in "The Book of Common Prayer," read it over carefully a time or two, and then open my journal and start writing.

Often, writing enables me to receive the Word, God's Living Presence, which feeds my soul just as the Holy Eucharist feeds my soul with the Body and Blood of the Risen Christ.

Tuesday, I read Mark 4. 1-20, the familiar parable of the sower and the seed. I thought, "Oh, that one again. Is there really anything here for me?"Yes, there was, as I found in my writing. Here's what I wrote, my lectio:

"I hear the Spirit saying that God sows the seed, which is his word for the life of us, but that seed only takes root, grows, thrives in us when we put our faith in God the Sower. Then, there is growth. Then there is life in us that is unimaginable--beyond expectation.

"And faith is not only that consent of our wills--that, 'Yes, Lord, I believe....'--but it is also that, 'Yes, Lord, Lord I believe and now here is how I'm going to behave as a consequence.' I'm going to sow that seed of your word in what I say and do, that the whole world might burst forth with the abundance of your kingdom, your presence."

With holy reading, let the Spirit move over the words and within you, bringing forth meaning and the life God intends for you.

This Lent, try a little lectio for the good of your soul.

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