If would be nice, if you want to talk to the Holy Spirit all that you need to do is make a phone call or Email. For humans, that would be nice, but the Holy Spirit is not limited to human convention. Instead, there is an interior way to access the Holy Spirit, one over which you have no control but never the less one which works every time. You simply sit in the presence of Christ in the silence and solitude of your heart and wait.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that you need to find some bat cave somewhere to seek silence and solitude. The cave where you should look is in your heart, the one place humans fear to look. The one place where the presence of Christ dwells just for you. Christ is everywhere, that is true, but when you take the living Lord into your heart in the Eucharist, you become like that which is greater. Divinity is greater than humanity, just like humanity is greater than animality, and animality is greater than the physical world of gases and the periodic table. Accessing Christ and the Holy Spirit is what any spirituality or spiritual system is about (Dominican, Jesuit, Cistercian, Basilian, Benedictine, Carthusian, Franciscan, Augustinian, to name but a few).

I would like to share with you several types of Lectio Divina practices that I have done and still do in my quest to “have in me the mind of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5)

I. TRADITIONAL LECTIO DIVINA Brother Michael, O.C.S.O., our instructor in the Juniorate of Lay Cistercians of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery (Trappist), taught us about Lectio Divina in one of his classes. Among the many insightful ideas he shared was that Lectio does not need to be limited to the four steps of Guido II, (lectio, meditatio, oratio, and ultimately, comtemplatio). Brother Michael told our group that Lectio can be done in bursts, or one set, or other ways to place yourself in the presence of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Let me offer you some YouTube videos on Lectio Divina.

Be conscious that any of this practices are useful to allow you to access the Sacred. They are not ends in themselves.

II. EXPANDED LECTIO DIVINA — Pope Benedict XVI expanded the four steps of the normal ladder to include a fifth one, Actio or action. This approach, which I use the most, takes Lectio from being just an interior transformation to include an external one. As Scripture says:

14You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.j15Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, giving light to all in the house.k16Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father. l

I try to write down as many of my Lectio Divina meditations as I can remember. This is my ACTIO part of Lectio Divina.

III. LECTIO DIVINA SERIES OF MEDITATIONS –– Another way that I have been using, as of late, is taking my Lectio Divina (always Philippians 2:5) and doing a series of Lectio over four or five days all clustered around a theme. If you access my blog site, you will be able to read my Lectio experiences for the last two weeks, all centered around the theme of The Divina Equation. These blogs are like chapters in the book I am writing about The Divine Equation and how the Christ Principle is central to discovering resonance in reality. Resonance means everything fits together according to its nature. Sin is a word that I use to describe dissonance or something that does not fit into God’s will for us.

IV. LECTIO DIVINA USING JUST ONE SCRIPTURE PASSAGE –– Lectio Divina is a method of reading Scripture that takes a passage from any biblical text and slowly reads and rereads that sentence or phrase to discover the depths of the meaning. I use only one passage from Scripture, which I have practiced, sometimes more successfully than others, since 1964. My personal center of life is Philippians 2:5 “have in you the mind of Christ Jesus.” Over the years, I close my eyes, think of myself on a park bench in the middle of winter, and just wait. If I talk, God cannot, so I try to keep my mouth and heart still and silent. Jesus and the Holy Spirit, our two Advocates, have been with me all along. It is I who must wait for my heart to be open to the coming of Christ in humility and truth.

V. LECTIO DIVINA IN A GROUP– This is a new modification for me. If there is a group of three or four people, I would ask someone to come up with a Scripture passage (sentence or phrase) and then have the group meditate on that Lectio for five to fifteen minutes. Listen with the ear of the heart, as St. Benedict advocates in the Prologue to his Rule. Then, share what the Holy Spirit is prompting you to say, or just say nothing or pass. It is like a Quaker prayer meeting. The one who identified the Lectio leads the group in prayer to activate what they have experienced in their minds, on their lips, and in their hearts. Another fifteen minutes takes all this and just waits for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Retire in silence.

Lectio Divina is not limited to Benedictines or Cistercian spirituality, far from it. If you Google Lectio Divina, you will see many URLs from Jesuits, Methodists, Franciscans, and many more spiritual methodologies. All good, all with the purpose of accessing the Holy Spirit and Jesus.

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