This wonderful and ancient form of prayer is an encounter with the Living Word - an encounter with God who desires relationship with us. It is a prayer of the heart and not of the head.
It originated during the middle ages in the monasteries. At that time, very few people could read, so one monk would take the chosen reading for the day and read it aloud to a gathering of others. He would read the same reading over and over again, and those listening would listen attentively, waiting for the particular word or phrase that it seemed God was saying to them that day. When an individual heard his word or phrase, he would get up and leave and go to his cell. There he would think about and savour the word or phrase, reflecting on its significance for himself. Then he would talk to God and listen as the Lord responded in his heart about what was stirred up by the text. Finally, he would spend time in silent adoration and thanksgiving.
In praying Lectio today, we follow a similar process. We are listening for the particular thing that God is wanting to say to us through the scripture. We ask, what is God saying to me right now in my own heart about what is going on in my life at this moment in time? Lectio has four movements:
- We Read the Gospel for the coming Sunday
- We Reflect on the text – asking which word/ words are resonating for me
- We Respond – this is a time of sharing and listening attentively to one another
- We Rest in the Word – we read the text one last time allowing the words to sink deep into our heart and we give thanks.
Our lectio groups at Rivonia, meet at the church, once a week, on a Monday night, from 6 – 7pm. We read the Gospel reading for the coming Sunday and listen carefully to what the Holy Spirit might be saying to each one of us, directly and personally. We do not give each other advice or judge. We listen. This savouring of the Gospel has enriched our experience of mass. Listening to the proclamation of the Word becomes an adventure and we are eager to listen to the homily to discover what additional treasures may be revealed by the celebrant’s experience and interpretation of the Gospel.
The original lectio group began meeting some 12 years ago, as a few parents had to wait at the church for their children to attend confirmation classes. We decided to use this hour for personal prayer and refection. Even though many of our children have long since been confirmed, we found a deep sense of community with one another and continued to meet over the years. The group numbers have slowly increased and, as a result, we have now had to split into two smaller groups. This gives us capacity to welcome more people to either of the small groups, should they wish to attend.
Anyone, who wishes to deepen their relationship with God, is welcome. You do not need to have knowledge of scripture. All you need is an openness of heart, a willingness to listen and a desire to deepen your relationship with God.
For more information, contact Marija Ruygrok: Tel: 082 787 6406 via Email