You are here
Lectio Divina and Attuning to the Spirit
Q: Recently I attended a poetry gathering … The young man who teaches poetry used Lectio Divina as a method to find interpretation of the poetry and called it that. If he had called it repetition and discernment, perhaps I would not have had difficulty with it. However, he did not use Scripture but secular poetry. I did some research on Lectio Divina and found that it is misused in many contexts and by different faith structures. Would you please comment on the use of Lectio Divina?
A: The term Lectio Divina is being used today in many different ways. The same is true with the term Centering Prayer. In these instances, there is little connection to the original and intended meaning.
Yes, the traditional application of Lectio Divina was focused on the Scriptures, the four moments revealing an ever-deepening level of the richness of the Word of God. Over time, this method spread and appeared in the writings of spiritual masters like John of the Cross.
Now there seems to be an expansion of the practice to contemporary writings, such as poetry. This is not the first time that the wisdom tradition has evolved into a new venue. I do not see it as a misuse, but as people using the method of Lectio Divina as a key to a deeper understand of the written or spoken word. The method of Lectio Divina teaches us to be attuned to how the Spirit is speaking to us in each of the moments of our lives, sometimes through Scripture, sometimes through poetry, sometimes through the words of another person.
Stay faithful to the traditional use of Lectio Divina and know Holy Spirit works in many different ways. -Blessings, Fr Carl