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The Daily Office: Day 19- Lectio Divina


Psalm 11

1 In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, "Flee like a bird to your mountain, for behold, the wicked bend the bow; they have fitted their arrow to the string to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart; if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?"

The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord's throne is in heaven; his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man. The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. Let him rain coals on the wicked; fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup. For the Lord is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face.

Reading/Action : 

Use the following method of lectio divina to respond to God’s word today.  The teaching is by Laura Abrams.

Silencio (silence):

Prepare to enter this devotional time by singing a hymn, reading a psalm, or praying. Thank God for life and his presence. This time is for you to slow down and focus. Sit comfortably, alert, and relaxed. Try, if you can, to put away your thoughts of the day and ready yourself to listen. Start with a simple prayer, such as: "Lord, put me in a place to enter into your presence."

Lectio (reading):

Read the passage aloud (or silently, if you are not in a place where you can read aloud). Listen for a word that sticks out to you (for example, in Psalm 23, it could be "shepherd" or "dwell" or "green pastures"). Read the passage again. If one word or phrase stood out the first time, see if it does the second time. Begin to repeat this word or phrase to yourself and let it resonate with you. If nothing sticks out, that is okay; just read again! Imagine someone taking a highlighter and pointing out one word or phrase. Remember, this is not a performance-driven exercise (spiritual devotions are not meant to be about performance; they're meant for worship of our Most High God!). Focus on spending time with God in his Word.

Meditatio (meditation):

Reread the passage. Meditate upon your word or phrase and ask God how this word speaks to your life. This could be a realization, feeling, sensory perception, image, thought, etc. Let your imagination be engaged, as well as your heart and mind. As these images, thoughts, and feelings come to you, take time to think about them. When you feel like praying, move to the next phase.

Oratio (prayer):

Pray what you most desire to say to God, and then listen! Journal and write down thoughts that come to mind, and what you believe God is speaking to you. Listen to the Holy Spirit to discover a possible invitation relevant to today, the next few days, or the year to come. It could be an action to take, a truth to discover about God, a way of life to change, someone to forgive, or something to celebrate. As you sense God bringing the time to a close  pray to close the time.

Contemplatio (contemplation):

Pray that you will be able to respond to God in the ways he's spoken. Celebrate hearing from God and simply be still. Reflect on the experience. Regardless of how you feel, thank God for the chance to encounter him and his living Word. Ask God to bless you, especially if you feel called to an action.



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