Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina/
Holy Listening
An ancient prayer of the Church calling us to a deeper relationship with God.


“Listen that you may have life” Isaiah 55:3

The Holy Spirit inspired those who wrote the scriptures and is also in our hearts teaching us how to read and listen. As our heart reaches out in longing for God, we begin to penetrate the words of the sacred texts enabling us to be nourished by the bread of life (John 6:35)

“Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32

Judy O’Toole

Resource Information:

Lectio Divina is latin for divine reading. It is a Benedictine tradition of praying with scripture. Lectio does not treat Scripture as texts to be studied, but as the living Word of God. (This is not a Bible Study). Traditionally, Lectio Divina has 4 separate steps: read, meditate, pray and contemplate. First a passage of Scripture is read, then its meaning is reflected upon. This is followed by prayer and contemplation on the Word of God.

STEP 1 Lectio (READING) or Acquaintanceship
– Read the scripture
-Gather the facts
-”Listen” to God’s word.
Allow 1-2 minutes quiet time


Step 2 Meditatio (Meditate) or Friendliness
– Read the scripture again
-Let Jesus speak to you.
-Reflect on the message
-“ Lord, what do you want me to learn from this passage today?”
Allow 3-4 minutes quiet time


Step 3 Oractio (Prayer) or Friendship
– Read the scripture a third time
-Let your heart speak to God
-Trust God enough to become emotionally involved… spontaneous prayer
Allow 4-7 minutes quiet time


Step 4 Contemplacion (contemplation) or Union of Life
– Read the scripture a final time.
-Sit quietly and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart in and through the silence.
Allow 5 minutes quiet time

These are only suggested intervals.