LECTIO DIVINA: ENHANCEMENTS

During my Lectio Divina, I sometimes use enhancements to my lectio, meditatio, oratio, and contemplatio. I don’t know what else to call them. Some people use a mood to create an ambiance that will provide them with the best way to use their silence and solitude. most of the time but not always, when I do Lectio Divina (Philippians 2:5). This works for me.

ACCUPRESSURE– I know, it sounds way out there. I don’t always use acupressure in my Lectio, but I have just recently begun some research on the effects of certain simple acupressure points on my Lectio. It is too soon to give you the results. I share with you the website I use for the pressure points. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324699#do-pressure-points-work You can judge for yourself if this is effective.

SITTING STILL– I have always been impressed by photos of monks or nuns sitting by themselves on a bench, cowl over their heads, just sitting there. I try to imagine myself doing the same thing during my Lectio Divina sessions before the Blessed Sacrament in Eucharistic Adoration. The stillness of the heart opens me to the ontic possibility of the manifestability to all being (Being) I encounter. Stillness, as I use it, works best for me in Eucharistic Adoration rather than in front of Trader Joe’s Market waiting for my wife to come out. I think it is the lack of movement that helps me to focus on Christ.

TEETERING ON THE EDGE OF SLEEPING– The Late Father Anthony Deliese, O.C.S.O. told us to pray as we can, which may mean you find yourself falling asleep. That is part of prayer. Of course, that mysterious land between keeping oneself awake and drifting in and out of the focus on Christ sitting next to me on a park bench in the depths of winter, is part of prayer, also. As of ten months ago, I keep waking up to go to the bathroom around 2:30 a.m., then wash my hands vigorously for twenty seconds, as per Covid19 protocols, and then lay down again. Some people tell me that they can’t get back to sleep once they get up. Thanks be to God, I don’t have that problem. What I have been doing is beginning to do Lectio Divina (Philippians 2:5) and await what comes. I have been asking my guardian angel (St. Michael) to join with me in asking the Father for mercy and reparation for all my sins through the mediation of Jesus in union with the Holy Spirit. I ask Holy Mother to join St. Michael and me in praying for mercy to the Father for those who have died and await purification for their sins. What seems like a long procedure actually happens in seconds. I have a golden book in which I have written the names of those I have met in my lifetime and for whom I pray that they are loosed from their sins. I am not a big fan of “one text” proofs, but I measure this against all the Ecumenical Councils through the ages to see a pattern. 2 Maccabees 12:46 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA) 46 It is, therefore, a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins. I share just a few of the people for whom I lift up my prayers to the Father through Christ, those who have gone before me with the sign of the cross and those who are still living, that they learn the meaning of how to love others as Christ loves us.

  • My mom and and and family
  • My wife’s mom and family
  • My teachers and classmates at St. Meinrad School of Theology
  • Those whom I have promised to pray for
  • All Cistercian monks and nuns, especially those at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery (Trappist)
  • All Lay Cistercians living and dead
  • All Chaplains, prisoners in prisons, their victims, and those who volunteer their time to share Christ with them

STARING AT A MY FAVORITE PHOTO — Sometimes I use a photo to help my mind focus on moving deeper into my inner consciousness, the place no one wants to go. My favorite photo is the cup in a darkened window frame with the glass just blurred enough to identify shapes and a color or two.

LECTIO WITH MY DOG, TUCKER (When at home) I have learned a lot about contemplation from my dog. Mind you, I am treating my dog as an I-Thou being and not an I-It. http://www.angelfire.com/md2/timewarp/buber.html#:~:text=According%20to%20Buber%2C%20human%20beings,having%20a%20unity%20of%20being.

That means, although I am human, I let the dog be its own nature and speak to me from those constraints. I have learned that this is all part of my seeking God where I am and as I am. This has helped me with the humility that comes from realizing that in everything, God is to be glorified. –St. Benedict

MUSIC– I don’t use music in my Lectio Divina because, at least so far, it is distracting for me. Some people find that it helps them very much.

Like all of the practices (Chapter 4 of St. Benedict’s Rule) we use to move from self to God, remembering that all of these enhancements and prayers are to allow us to become more like Christ and less like us. They are not ends in themselves.

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