What does the month of July look like for you? Is it a busy month with time spent traveling or on vacation, or gathering for family events, or is it business as usual? There is a different feeling in summer, longer days, warmer temperatures that encourage us to work outside in the garden or pursue various activities. For some the pace can be hectic rather than relaxed, stressful rather than peaceful. May I suggest a form of prayer that might work for you either using your favorite scripture passages, a daily reading scripture or Sunday text found on the United States Catholic Bishop’s website www.usccb.org You can employ this technique on your own or even with friends or family. Give yourself a break and rest in God’s living word.
The 4 steps of Lectio Divina or Prayerful Reading of scripture are: on your own read the passage slowly four times and follow the guide below or with a group take turns reading the scripture passage for each step.
Lectio: Read the Scripture passage aloud slowly. Notice what phrase captures your attention and be attentive to its meaning. What did you hear? – This is not a time for biblical analysis, history or establishing context just respond to what you hear on that level. Share with those around you. Silent pause.
Meditatio: Read the passage aloud slowly again, reflecting on the passage, allowing God to speak to you through it. How may God be speaking to you? Share if you wish. Silent pause.
Oratio: Read it aloud slowly a third time, allowing it to be your prayer or response to God’s gift of insight to you. What could you take away from this passage. Silent Pause
Contemplatio: Read it aloud a fourth time, now resting in God’s word. Allow it to percolate in your mind and heart.
May this practice give you a break from the daily routine, or assist you to give yourself a break anytime in your day to pray and be in God’s presence.
Summer Blessings, Father Larry Hendel