LECTIO DIVINA as a Group Exercise
In the churches of the Third World where books are rare, a form of corporate lectio divina is becoming common as Christians praying together in a group ponder the Scripture.
This form of lectio divina works best in a group of between four and eight people. A group leader coordinates the process and facilitates sharing. The same text from the Scriptures is read out three times, followed each time by a period of silence and an opportunity for each member of the group to share the fruit of her or his lectio.
The first reading:
The first reading (the text is actually read twice on this occasion) is for the purpose of hearing a word or passage that touches the heart. When the word or phrase is found, it is silently taken in, and gently recited and pondered during the silence which follows. After the silence each person shares which word or phrase has touched his or her heart.
The second reading:
The second reading (by a member of the opposite sex from the first reader) is for the purpose of “hearing” or “seeing” Christ in the text. Each ponders the word that has touched the heart and asks where the word or phrase touches his or her life that day. In other words, how is Christ the Word touching her own experience, her own life? How are the various members of the group seeing or hearing Christ reach out to them through the text? Then, after the silence, each member of the group shares what he or she has “heard” or “seen.”
The third Reading:
The third and final reading is for the purpose of experiencing Christ “calling us forth” into doing or being. Members ask themselves what Christ in the text is calling them to do or to become today or this week. After the silence, each shares for the last time; and the exercise concludes with each person praying for the person on the right.
This material is adapted from http://www.jesuits.ca/orientations/intro2lectio.html
The method of group lectio divina described here was introduced at St. Andrew’s Abbey by oblates Doug and Norvene Vest: it is used as part of the Benedictine Spirituality for Laity workshop conducted at the Abbey each summer.