Sustaining the Contemplative Practice of Lectio Devina

We have come to the end of our 40 days Postings. Our last posting is very appropriate in that it addresses the question of how to keep going with what we have started. You have met the now famous Brent Unrau from his former post on labyrinths as a contemplative practice. Here Brent is talking about his personal experience with lectio devina and how he integrates this into his busy every day life. I hope you will be encouraged to find a way to continue what you have started in these 40 days.

 

Sustaining the Contemplative Practice of Lectio Devina

By Brent Unrau

Wild horses could not drag me out of bed at for a 6 a.m. 90  minute solitary observing of a lectio divina time, yet for the past six weeks I have found myself looking forward to and drinking in the the rich experience of attending a small lectico divina group that gathers at Small Ritual Coffee Society in White Rock, Wednesdays from 6-7:30 a.m., my busiest counselling day of the week.

More and more I am convinced that I cannot follow the contemplative disciplines well alone, that I need a group context to support and sustain them.  What a treat to exchanges early morning hugs, find our seats, grab our needed coffees or teas, open up our various translations with expectant smiles and wait to hear which scriptures we get to focus on.  I love the rhythm of the four questions, with 15-20 minutes silence between each question, silence alone is so different from intentional silence supported as a group.

  1. What word or phrase does God want to reveal to you this morning, what catches your attention that you may need to hear this morning, that you feel invited to  slow down and focus on ( silence)?
  2. To what purpose is that phrase or word being underlined and illuminated to you or for you (silence)?
  3. What changes do you feel asked to make in light of these fresh revelations and truths (silence)?
  4. What might it look like to live out (incarnate) and express this in your daily life (silence)?

As hints of dawn begin to emerge space is giving for open sharing.  It’s as though each of us is a specific instrument, designed in unique ways to resonate with the vibrating tones of the notes and music.  We gather to warm up and pay attention to the sheet music in front of us, wondering what the Holy Spirit Conductor may want to reveal.  We drink in the moods, cadences and meaning of the score through the particular givenness (limits, range, design) of our instrumentation. But we do it together, leaning into what each instrument has to say, what stuck them at they listened to the same piece of music(scripture) and how they say it through the tone and feel of their voice.  What sweet wonder to hear and value what each person adds to the conversation, building the moment, revealing the deeper glory and meaning of the music, hearing the vast potential and beauty of the score through this early morning rag tag practice symphony. With gratitude and playful joy we depart to our individual daily challenges and routines, humming the fresh comforting tune of the music under our breath allowing it to resound in and through us and then around us out into our needy world.

 

 

  1. Gwen says:

    I did some lectio divina with my group of young learners, using questions from here and there that would best evoke a true encounter. I love the way these four questions are worded and look forward to using them.

    I also loved the image evoked of you dragging yourself out of bed for this and then being surprised by the joy of community. The music metaphor is brilliant. THANKS!

  2. Donelda says:

    What a great idea! Doing this in a group as a community, makes so much sense, and i can see where it would add so much! Love the image of each of us being an instrument and the scriptures being the music. A few friends have been talking about doing a “silent day” in someone’s home- setting the home aside for a day to do a mini silent retreat- without the cost of going away. Your post is an added way to foster comtemplative practices. I’d like to suggest this idea to some of my friends to help us all to support one another in fostering the contemplative. Thanks so much for this post-you are a great writer by the way!

    • Nawel says:

      I have to agree with the other comments. I used to be very type-A, piiiectronfstec and therefore I was always disappointed; in myself, in others, at life in general. I brought that same dedication to my faith and my practice and when I failed there as well (because perfection is unattainable), my faith suffered greatly because I was focusing on the wrong thing(s). I know you’re not speaking about perfectionism per se, but this is how I related to it. My life is my life. I’m trying to rely on God more and more throughout every moment of my life I’m trying to make my life less and less about me and more and more about God and God’s people. In doing so, my life is becoming more and more busy and full. Do I have time everyday for quiet contemplation? Simply, no. The question for me becomes, am I living consciously, giving consciously, serving consciously? Sometimes conscious living is a form of contemplation. And then there are moments when I must retreat.

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