Lectio Divina is Latin for the concept of divine reading or spiritual reading. It is a way of reading the Scripture that becomes a way of living the Scripture. It involves the concepts of reading (lectio), meditation (meditatio), prayer (oratio), and contemplation (contemplatio). It is an act of focused attention and sustained humility in relationship to the Word of God, as we are drawn out of ourselves and into God’s sovereignty. It is an understanding that the Bible is not our possession, but that we are entrusted with it as with a precious treasure. The following questions help us to understand the difference:
- Do we read the Bible to find a place for God in our lives, or do we read it in order to be drawn into participation with God on His terms? Do the Scriptures help us to manage God or enable us to magnify Him?
- Do we see God in our stories, or do we view our stories as part of God’s greater and grand metanarrative?
- Does the Bible contain only answers for living, or does it provoke us with questions?
- Is the accurate reading of the Scriptures to know them (information), or to live them (participation)?
- Will the Bible simply help us to fix a secular culture, or will it open our hearts and minds to a greater Biblical reality of coherence and connection in the entire cosmos?
- Will multiple translations of the Bible dilute the original, or will they give the original a new resonance and a broader influence?
- Why should it take the whole Bible to understand any part of the Bible?