Today, the church celebrates the feast of St. Luke, one of the four evangelists and author of the Gospel of Luke and Acts. There is this stereotype that Catholics do not know Scripture. It is true that many Catholics are not in the habit of praying with Scripture or involved in Scripture study groups. The false part of the stereotype is that Catholics do not emphasize Scripture.
Catholics are people of the Word. Catholics believe that Sculpture is at the heart of God’s revelation. In our celebration of the Eucharist, we proclaim that Jesus is present in the Word, in the Eucharist, in the person of the priest and in the community. Scripture is a living word!
Scripture and the New Evanglization
As part of the New Evangelization, we want all Catholics to grow in their relationship with our Lord, to love the Lord more deeply and more fully. Like any relationship rooted in love, the better we know a person, the more we love a person and the more we love a person, the better we come to know that person.
To celebrate today’s feast, I am offering an adapted version of Lectio Divina. Lectio Divina is the ancient practice of praying with Scripture, traced back to Saint Benedict and the founding of Western monasticism. What I love about Lectio is that is really helps one discover in Scripture words, images and insights that can be overlooked because the stories have become so familiar to us or because at this moment, this word or this image has real meaning for the place in which we find ourselves. While Lectio Divina invites us to take up Scripture in a quiet contemplative exercise, for many of us, those moments are hard to find in the course of our day. I would hate for us to think we can’t do it because we do not have 20 or 30 minutes of quiet for prayer.
In one of my diaconate classes, a deacon candidate shared a very creative approach to Lectio on the run. He is a bus driver for the Montgomery County School System. He starts his day at daily Mass and listens to the Gospel. He listens for the word or image that seems to shout out to him or really captures his attention and then at each stop his bus makes he recalls that image or word and thinks a little more about it. So, his Lectio unfolds in the course of his day. However it makes sense in your life, do practice this ancient and yet ever new form of Catholic prayer.
Modified Lectio Divina
Read the passage through twice; slowly and deliberately, with a pause between the first reading and the second reading. What word or phrase catches your attention or is meaningful to you?
Reflect for 1-2 minutes in silence on the reading. Identify the word or phrase that has settled in your mind.
Reflect for 2-3 minutes on the meaning of the word or passage in your life today.
Request a grace from the Lord that relates to your reflection. Ask the Lord to help you recognize the fruit of your reflection in action.
Read the passage a third time. Sit silently for 1-2 minutes.