There are various ways to pray that we can do on our own. One such way is called Lectio Divina, or divine reading of Scripture. Lectio Divina can also be done with a group. This prayer practice is intended to build communion with God and increase our understanding of God’s Word. Therefore, it is a great way to prepare for the readings before attending Mass.
To begin, you will need to gather a few items: the scripture readings, (found at usccb.org or in our weekly bulletin), your Bible, (if not accessing the readings online), and a notebook or journal designated for this prayer form.
There are four steps to the Lectio Divina process. To start, you may want to focus specifically on the Gospel. As you become more comfortable with this prayer practice, you can add the first and/or second readings.
Decide on a dedicated time, find a comfortable spot, and get your body and mind ready to pray. Sit down and sit still. Slow your mind and body. Breathe in slowly, hold it, and let it out slowly. Repeat this action a total of three times. You are welcome to close your eyes and put the distractions around you out of your mind in order to focus on the reading.
Read the Gospel passage out loud, even if you are by yourself.
Pause and reflect on a word or phrase that sounds important to you or caught your attention. Write it in your prayer journal. If you are in a group, each person then shares their word or phrase. Do not explain anything. Pause again before moving to the next step.
Read the same passage again.
Pause. This time, think about how God is speaking to you. What God is saying to you in the passage? Pause again, and then write it in your journal. Again, if in a group, share what you wrote down. Pause before moving to the next step.
Read the passage a third time..
Pause. Think about how God is calling you to act through that phrase or word. Where is God leading you? Pause. Write it down in your journal. Share with your group.
You may choose to end with a prayer, continue to do more journaling, or pray in silence..
This prayer practice helps us to hear God speaking to us. When attending Mass, it prepares your heart and soul to openly receive what is being proclaimed.
Blessings and prayers on your journey.