Last week in my homily I made a reference to lectio divina. This translates to ‘divine reading’. It is a practice that was developed through the monsastic tradition in our Church to help the monks use the Word of God to enter into a contemplative experience of prayer with God.
The method I woul like to share with you comes from the Sulpicians, a society of diocesan priests who teach in seminaries. While contemplation is a level of prayer that anyone can strive for in their prayer life, the diocesan priesthood is by nature apostolic, meaning it is focused on ministry to the people of God. I believe that this method is beneficial for those whose vocations are apostolic or in family life and living the Gospel in the world.
The Sulpician method of lectio follows three statements: Jesus before my eyes, Jesus in my heart, Jesus in my hands. You begin with Jesus before my eyes: carefully read a line or verse of Scripture. Spend some time reflecting on what teaching of Jesus may be found in what you have just heard. After some time you move on to Jesus in my heart: read the line or verse once again (slowly). Then reflect quietly and identify the word or meaning that stands out to you. Does this word or meaning stir something within you? Take some time in quiet to explore this stirring. Finally comes Jesus in my hands: once again read the line or verse of scripture. This time in your period of reflection ask yourself, what is it from this experience with the Word of God that you can put into practice right now.
There is no set time frame for lectio. It can take 10 minutes or an hour. It all depends on where you are in your spiritual journey as well as the realities of life.
I also posted a video about this method of lectio on our Youtube channel. I invite you to visit the St. George channel on Youtube and to check it often. I will be posting videos on it periodically as well as sharing other videos that are helpful in growing in a deeper knowledge of our Catholic faith.
As a parish, our primary purpose is the building up of the kingdom of God in our families and our community. The most important thing we do is the celebration of the Eucharist and providing access to the Sacraments. We also seek to help one another grow in love of God. One of the devotions in our Church is Eucharistic Adoration. This is done in a more formal way, such as the Eucharist exposed in a Monstrance (which will take place at St. George’s on First Fridays), or informally, spending time before the Tabernacle. To provide more people the opportunity for quiet prayer before the Lord the Church will remain open throughout the week. The hours the Church will be open are: Sundays: 7:45AM to 1PM; Mondays-Wednesdays 8AM to 6PM; Fridays 8AM to 6PM and Saturdays 10AM to 6PM (the Church will be closed on Thursdays). I invite you to take a few minutes when you can to stop in and spend some time in quiet before the Lord.
Finally, if you have a ‘smart’ phone, I invite you to download our parish app. This app not only has information about what is happening in the parish, but also resources to help you grow in faith. You can download it through the App Store or Google Play or you can text App to 88202.
This week is off to an exciting start as I preside at the wedding of two of our peer ministers at UMass Dartmouth Catholic Campus Ministry! Please pray for all those couples who are preparing for marriage here at St. George’s, in our families and around the world.