This post is a distillation of what has been described in earlier posts about Lectio Divina and is created to be used as a look-up.

Lectio Divina (divine, or holy, reading) is a way of acknowledging that our book of scripture - the Bible - is alive and active and of allowing it to be used by God to speak directly to our hearts - in order to deepen our relationship with God and to grow us spiritually.

A passage of the Bible is read slowly and reflectively to allow the words to soak into our hearts and minds. It is not a way of Bible study - trying to unravel the meaning of the Hebrew or Greek words - but is a way of opening ourselves to God using a meditative approach. Here is a reminder of how you might do Lectio Divina:

Read the chosen passage once, slowly. Then read it again - slowly. And perhaps, even a third time. S...l...o...w...l...y!

It may be that part of the passage - a word or a phrase - seems to be more significant to you than another. Choose the word or phrase that speaks to you the most. Now repeat this word/phrase - s-l-o-w-l-y - several times. Try not to analyse it, just allow yourself to savour it for several minutes - to ruminate on it - allowing the sense of it to fill you and feed you.

After ten or fifteen minutes (longer if you like!) talk to God about your prayer time and your response.

Rest in God's presence and then commit the rest of the day to God.

I also enjoy a second way of describing lectio - involving chocolate! Wikipedia describes how the method of Lectio Divina has traditionally been considered to have four parts: Lectio, Meditatio, Oratio and Contemplatio. All of these together making a "Feast on the Word".

This is how I see it in, er - well, chocolatey terms:

Lectio Reading the passage: taking a lovely bite of the chocolate - nice and slowly...m.m.m.m....

Meditatio Mulling over part of the passage: letting that wonderful chocolate melt deliciously and slowly in your mouth!

Oratio Opening to God in a conversation: telling God how fabulous his chocolate is - then moving on to an intimate chat.

Contemplatio Loving, wordless focus on God: just resting with God with that lovely 'satisfied' post-chocolate feeling!

If you want to read more you might like to try these:

Wikipedia contains a useful article on Lectio Divina.

If you like to understand how and why things have developed then there is a useful definition of Lectio Divina at the Carmelite website.

Or if you would like some music while you explore:

Learning about Lectio with music