Lectio Divina


Lectio Divina is an ancient practice of listening deeply to the voice of God speaking through sacred texts. Lectio cultivates in us the ability to be fully present to the holy call that emerges from words. Lectio Divina is not only a means of discovering something about God; it also helps us to understand our hidden selves.


  1. Read - Lectio

  2. Meditate - Meditatio

  3. Pray - Oratio

  4. Contemplate - Contemplatio



The first movement of lectio divina in traditional language is called lectio, which means “reading.”

For example, I could read 1 Corinthians 13 : 4 - "Love is patient and kind".



The second movement is traditionally called meditatio in Latin, or meditation. Like Mindfulness in Buddhist tradition, Christian meditation develops the qualities of awareness, attentiveness and presence.

Continuing the example,  I meditate on "Love is patient and kind".  I could conclude that this is how I should love my neighbor, and I could mediate more on how this can be applied.




The third movement , traditionally called oratio in Latin, means “speech” or “address” and thus a form of prayer. Oratio refers to the kind of prayer that comes spontaneously from our hearts when we allow them to be touched by the presence of God in the text.


Next I pray to God to give me strength and wisdom that I might love my neighbor by being patient and kind.



The fourth movement of lectio is called contemplatio , which is Latin for “contemplation.” Contemplatio is the culmination of the previous three movements and in time we enter more deeply into a state of being one with God. In contemplation we surrender ourselves into the presence of God who is the source of all

Lastly, I begin by practicing "Centering Prayer" and ultimately I move into contemplation on "love".

© 2020 by Robert Barnett