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Meditation and Contemplation in Lectio Divina: 3 proven methods


Hey brother Arnold Joseph, I heard that
Lectio Divina is a form of meditation while using the scriptures.
I was wondering how does that work? So that’s a great question because meditation is such an important piece of Lectio Divina and
it’s actually why Lectio Divina is such a powerful type
of Prayer. Because when we enter into meditation using the word, we’re able to
not only know the word, and repeat the word, and memorize the word, but we’re
able to encounter the word, in such a way that now we’re getting into deeper
levels of understanding and deeper levels of relationship, where it’s
transforming our minds and our hearts and our lives, in such a way that our
relationships change, our knowledge of God changes, our knowledge of self
changes, and our lives are transformed into ways of wholeness and of holiness,
because we’re not just surface-level anymore. Now we’re going into deeper
levels of spirituality and that’s why Lectio Divina is such a powerful form
of Prayer. The beginning aspect is very easy. You’re just going to read. Just going to read the passage and read it slowly to see what comes up to you, what grabs you and what grasps you and tells you “hey, whoa check me out”. And today, I read
James 2 during morning prayer, 12 to 13, and one part that came up to me was “but
mercy triumphs over judgment”. That’s what stuck out to me. Sometimes what sticks
out to me is a word, sometimes it’s a phrase, sometimes it’s an image. Something that’s happening within the the passage itself. So depending on what sticks out
to you, then you enter into the meditation piece. For more on meditation,
just simple meditation, all forms of meditation, you can check out my video
above. But for this video, we’re going to talk only about meditation within Lectio Divina. So there’s three different options that we can choose from. #1 is going to be the option of just repeating the word over and over and
over again while questioning what does it mean. So “mercy triumphs over judgment”. I’ll close my eye close and ask “what does that mean? What does that mean?” So we enter into the questing, the questing of the question. What does this
mean? What does this mean to me? What does this text say to me? And I would let my
mind just wander and find out what this means to me. “Mercy triumphs over judgment” and depending on what passage you choose, different things will come up. Now option
#2 is just to repeat this word or this phrase as a mantra over and
over, and over again, as a sacred phrase and just notice what comes up. For more
on sacred words, so I don’t have to go deeply into that, you can check out my
video above. However, that’s option #2, repeat over and over and over
again and notice what is stirring within your emotions, within your body, within
your mentality, and allow things to just come up, because you will gain another
type of wisdom by just repeating it over and over again slowly. Now option #3, would be the one of entering into your imagination. Entering into the scene
if the if the text allows that. You can enter into the scene as one
of the characters. And you use your imagination and you use all your senses,
to enter into a scene that speaks to you. Maybe just one little part of it. And you internally gaze into that scene. Maybe gaze into somebody’s eyes. Maybe just see the scenery happen. Maybe if somebody, maybe Jesus, was saying something like
what would you like me to do for you? What would you like me to do for you? How did he say it? How was he looking at you? Where were you? What are you doing, sitting? Were you standing? What were you smelling? What were you seeing in the background? Who else was there? Just enter
into the scene and be there within that scene. That’s another beautiful way of
entering into meditation. Active imaginative meditation. And you want to
give yourself 10 to 15 minutes of the meditation piece, and then the prayer
should just be like less than a minute. Just ask God for wisdom.
God grant me the wisdom to understand more fully your word and to know it on
a deeper level. Boom. Done. That simple. It could be that simple.
And then you enter into the next stage which we call contemplation. However, what
we’re really doing, is not that we’re entering into contemplation. It’s not
after the prayer we’ve said, that now it’s like boom! I’m in
contemplation! Whew, that’s great! Because that’s not the way contemplation works. We get the gift of contemplation occasionally.
So what we’re doing is we’re just availing ourselves to the opportunity to enter into contemplation, by quieting ourselves down, and entering again deeply into that meditation, but
more quietly. More open to what God wants us to know. Waiting for God’s
inspiration to happen through the scripture and when it does is when we
get a certain mystical understanding of the scriptures.
After some time, whether we received the gift of contemplation or not, then we
enter into the action peace. The actio piece, in which it’s just like, okay, now
that I received a certain type of wisdom, now that I’ve gained the opportunity to
enter deeper into the scripture, “mercy triumphs over judgment” What does that
mean? What does that mean for me and how do I have to change? Or act? What should I do in order to make that more real within my life?
Allow yourself the time to enter into meditation and also into the
contemplative piece. Allow yourself a certain amount of time, maybe 15 minutes to enter into that. I hope you do. Peace.

Jerry Heath

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