Lectio divina – lectio humana-101

Lectio Divina: lectio humana – 101

Training encounter: Winter Term 2017:

Saturday 18 February

14.00h to 16.00h

Course Fee: £30 each encounter

Entry: The foundation for participation in the day is an openness to discuss the significance of human experience

Teaching and Learning Style: The encounters will be experiential, participatory and developmental.

Tutor: James Leachman, OSB  and others


Programme Outline

This course has been developed to offer an introduction to
and a pathway to leading others in Lectio Divina

Awareness of myself in the world

Lectio 101: Introduction to Lectio divina

Some areas that will be considered in this training:
Inner work
Outer work / world work
Channels: the basic principles
A first practical awareness exercise with ritual
Lectio divina
Lectio humana

In Christianity, Lectio Divina (Latin for “Holy Reading”) is a traditional monastic practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God’s Word. It does not treat Scripture as texts to be studied, but as vehicles of the ‘Living Word of God’. The transcendent dimension of life that is seen and tasted in sacred texts, sacred rites and in dedicated lives makes herself accessible to us through the power of the Spirit when we dispose ourselves to receive, and to “passively undergo God” (pace James Alison)

Traditionally, Lectio Divina has four separate active steps to dispose us: to read; to meditate; to pray; to contemplate. First a passage of Scripture is read, then its meaning is reflected upon. This is followed by prayer and contemplation on the Word of God. It may be that we are graced with a moment of enlightenment or peace.

The focus of Lectio Divina is not a theological analysis of biblical passages but a direction of our subjectivity to the divine initiative as the key to discovering the depths of meaning. 

The roots of Scriptural reflection and interpretation go back to Origen in the 3rd century, after whom St. Ambrose taught them to St. Augustine. The monastic practice of Lectio Divina was first established in the 6th century by Saint Benedict and was then formalized as a four-step process by the Carthusian monk Guigo II during the 12th century. In the 20th century, the constitution Dei verbum of the Second Vatican Council recommended Lectio Divina to the general public and its importance was affirmed by Pope Benedict XVI at the start of the 21st century.

It will be interesting to consider Lectio divina : lectio humana from multi-faith and non faith perspectives

Contact us by email: info@benedictine-institute.org

OR contact us
by post:  74, Castlebar Road, Ealing, London W5 2DD
by telephone:  +44 (0) 20 8862 2156

Course book, The White Cat and the Monk (public library) by writer Jo Ellen Bogart and illustrator Sydney Smith— one of four wonderful children’s books about the creative life.

This book illustrates most “channels” of communication- which one could be missing – or not?
A monk whose identity remains a mystery immortalized his beloved white cat named Pangur. Sometime in the ninth century, somewhere in present-day southern Germany, this solitary scholar penned a beautiful short poem in Old Irish, titled “Pangur Bán” — an ode to the parallel pleasures of man and feline as one pursues knowledge and the other prey, and to how their quiet companionship amplifies their respective joys.

The poem has been translated and adapted many times over the centuries (perhaps most famously by W.H. Auden). In a subtle story-with-a-story, one of the monk’s manuscripts contains an even more ancient depiction of another monk and another cat — a reminder that this creaturely communion is a primal joy of the human experience.

Ealing Abbey-C4L created 16 May 2016 JL, edited 15 November JL