Notre-Dame de l'Assomption Abbey - Trappistines of Rogersville.
Lectio Divina.

Lectio divina or "spiritual reading" is a privileged means of entering into contact with the Mystery of Christ. Traditionally, Sacred Scripture has been the prima materia of lectio, ergo its appellation divina. Let us now consider its role in monastic life.

Lectio divina is a fundamental aspect of monastic life. It entails not only reading the Word of God but also meditating / ruminating it, allowing the Word to be a catalyst of interior prayer, aspiring to the gift of contemplative union it offers. This ancient spiritual practice is specific, though not exclusive, to the monk. Lectio divina, with its inexhaustible possibilities for helping us enter into vital contact with the Mystery via the Word, forms the monk and the monk forms the community. The influence of lectio is far reaching in its implications for the quality and integrity of monastic life. Thus understood, lectio reveals itself to be a source of monastic authenticity while at the same time being a consequence of it. As a source, it helps awaken depths within the person and depth is the key to the contemplative dimension of monastic life. Lectio is like a door opening onto the Mystery; it places us before the Mystery and facilitates our contact with it - a contact that renders our whole life more fruitful. As a consequence of our monastic life, lectio serves as a mirror reflecting back its quality or deficiencies, indicating the level of depth or shallowness at which we are living it. Our experience with lectio will inevitably reveal whether or not our monastic practice is up to par, what is lacking in our engagement, whether or not we are truly letting the life take us out of self and into the Mystery. Can we be still, can we listen, can we center our attention in the deep heart and there wait upon the Spirit to lead us where it will?

Lectio divina is a monastic observance that is rooted in the realm of being. It is a practice which seeks to engage the being of the person in a transforming relationship with the Word of God.

Lectio Divina.

There is a deep life, let us call it a seed of divine life, dwelling in each of us and which is the source of spiritual being. However dormant it may be, this life can be awakened, quickened, nourished and brought to fruition through the faithful practice of lectio divina. This is possible because the "spirit-life" hidden in our hearts is aroused by the "Spirit-life" hidden in the Word. Lectio, by putting us in contact with the Word of God, becomes a catalyst activating the energy of the Spirit within us. If we are truly present and receptive, lectio can become a channel for the Mystery to enter within us. The fruit of this indwelling of the Spirit is spiritual consciousness - a knowing rooted in being. Spiritual consciousness is the ground of all consciousness and spiritual being is the ground of all being. If one defines the goal of monastic life as a "transformation of consciousness", as a "transformation of being", then the practice of lectio divina is extremely important in this process.

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