Lectio Divina

The aim of Connect groups is that we meet our Lord as we read his Word together and allow him to transform our lives to be more like him through the work of the Holy Spirit.

We use the simple Lectio Divina approach to studying Scripture that has been around since AD 300, the four steps first recorded by a monk, Guigo Cartujo, in 1173. The resource (by United Bible Societies) we are using is linked to the previous Sunday's main lectionary reading.

From the Bible Society website:

"Lectio Divina invites you to savour and mull over God's words quietly, slowly and intently. It gives you the space to respond to what you feel God is saying and helps you build a vital bridge between your encounters with God and everyday life with its joys, humdrum and challenges."

The approach

The four-step approach, with suggested rough timings for a 40-minute group, is as follows, though it is important to be responsive to the group and to what God is doing. As well as the page for each session, participants will need access to either a printed or online Bible for the cross-references.

Reading (Lectio) - 10 minutes

  • Begin with prayer, and that the Holy Spirit would lead you in all truth (John 16:13)

  • Read the main passage slowly and carefully; options for groups include reading around the groups and different readers taking different 'parts'

  • Consider reading through the passage more than once, e.g. using different methods

  • Note mentally or jot down thoughts, and any words, phrases or questions that stand out

  • Then read out the Lectio notes

Meditation (Meditatio) - 15 minutes

  • Expect God to speak to you and the group

  • Allow some time of quietness to meditate on and picture the passage, and imagine the situation

  • Group members are encouraged to share with one another how the text has inspired in order to build up and encourage

  • The aim is not to argue, debate or reach agreement, but to be open to God, to explore and to ask questions

  • Discussion can be introduced by a simple question like “What catches your attention in this passage?”

  • The group should try to remain focussed by using the questions and any cross-references provided

Prayer (Oratio) - 10 minutes

  • The aim of this time is for each individual to make a personal response to the Lord

  • Group members should be encouraged to bring what is happening in their own life and in their community before God

  • Time should be given for personal quiet prayer

  • An opportunity should also be provided for people to pray out loud in their own words and use verses from any responsorial prayer/psalm provided

Contemplation (Contemplatio)

  • Members should be encouraged to remain still and quiet wherever they are for a few minutes immediately after the session has ended if possible

  • The aim is to be still before God and invite him in, and to connect with him before re-connecting with the world

  • If desired, people can look up the additional scripture readings to reflect on and bring additional light to bear on the main passage

  • People may like to jot down thoughts, experiences or questions