The Text of the Video:
1- What does ‘LD” mean?
‘Lectio’ in Latin means: ‘Reading’.
‘Divina’: means ‘spiritual’ or ‘divine’.
Note 1: LD (Lectio Divina) is traditionally applied exclusively to the spiritual reading of the Scriptures.
Note 2: It is called ‘divina’ because without the direct, ‘divine’, intervention of the Holy Spirit, this cannot come about.
2- What is LD?
It is the time we dedicate to sitting down, listening to what Jesus wants to say to us, and putting it into practice.
Practising LD is meeting the Risen Lord who comes everyday to my room to speak to me personally and change me.
3- What is the basis of LD?: what is LD’s place
LD is based on the “daily Bread” that the Lord gives us essentially during the first part of the Mass: the Liturgy of the Word of God.
Note: We have either two readings (week days), i.e. First Reading and Gospel, or three readings (Sunday, Solemnities) i.e. + one extra reading.
4- What is LD’s place in our Spiritual Life?
LD is the most powerful boost to our Spiritual Life.
Well practised it ensures a steady growth.
Without it, our Spiritual Life is greatly undermined.
5- What is the goal of LD?
Its daily goal is to generate a real transformation in us.
It helps Jesus’ words to become incarnate in us, so that Jesus grows in us.
We start to act with Him and through Him in new and previously unexperienced ways.
6- Is Jesus calling everybody to practise LD?
Yes. He emphasised, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ (Matthew 4:4).
Note 1: He said: “man”, not, “some men”.
Note 2: It is equally true that there is a moment in our lives where, by the grace of God, we become more aware of the vital importance of listening to Jesus’ Word and putting it into practice.
7- When do we practice LD?
The best way is to do it is on a daily basis, preferably in the Morning. Jesus advises us to petition God to “Give us this day our Daily Bread”.
Usually we start with as little as 10 minutes a day, and the practice grows to reach about an hour.
8- What are the stages of LD?
There are two stages in LD:
1- To listen to Jesus’ Personal Word for us .
2- To put it into practice.
9- Which texts do we use?
The best method is to use the readings of the Mass of the day. They can be found online and in the following: a liturgical calendar, the Bible, the Missal, or a monthly magazine dedicated to the Mass eg Magnificat…
For a person who is not acquainted with the Scriptures, it is better to start by reading the main books of the New Testament, and some important texts from the Old Testament (Genesis, Exodus, Isaiah,…), and do the lectio on those texts, a paragraph or section per day.
10- What is the best way to start it?
1- to sit in a quiet place
2- to place myself in the presence of Christ and enter into my conscience so I can hear the voice of God
3- to consider Jesus’ desire to speak to me
4- to repeat my choice of Him today as my First priority
5- to give myself to Him, unconditionally.
This stage should only take a few minutes.
11- What conditions does LD lay down?
The true desire to respond to Jesus’ Call for me, and the willingness to change, to convert.
Jesus explained: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”” (Luke 5:31-32)
12- Is it enough to read the texts once to allow Jesus to talk to us?
The first reading is necessary in order to understand the passage in general, or we could risk applying our own analysis of the text, which, in turn, will colour prayer itself. The text merely has to have a minimum of clarity for you, as with stained-glass, to allow Jesus’ Light to come through.
13- How can we really listen to Jesus?
It is important while reading to ask for the Holy Spirit. Before this, we need to fully accept that on our part we need to do our utmost to listen to Jesus, as if it all depended on us through our reading, focusing, rereading, understanding the text, digging deep. Then immediately after, we need to allow the Holy Spirit to help us listen to Jesus with his unique direct intervention, as if all depended on Him.
14- How does the process of Listening unfolds?
When the supernatural Action of the Holy Spirit is initiated, we notice that it is as if Jesus is highlighting a part of each text, making it more alive, more meaningful to us that day, using these words to talk to us.
15- How can we be sure that it is Jesus who is talking to us, not ourselves?
When the highlighted parts of the two (or three) texts we are reading start to say one thing to us. This gives us 95% certainty that He is speaking not us. Jesus, using the two texts to talk us, invites us to change and do something we were not doing before.
16- What characterizes the supernatural Intervention of the Holy Spirit?
There is a difference between understanding the text with our mind and having a new understanding, alive, because of the intervention of the Holy Spirit who sheds a new light through what we are reading. Now the same word of the text starts to give out a divine sap, an inner light, a meaning that we were not seeing before, and this meaning touches our heart, our will, our life, some area of our being, asking it to change, offering its healing.
17- What are the criteria of discernment?
The main criterion to discern that it is the Holy Spirit who is acting is when we notice that miraculously the two texts are saying the same thing (often using different words).
This action of the Holy Spirit tastes new, coming from Above; it is practical, i.e. it touches some area in us; it is little, just that day’s step to be done, just the change the Lord wants to make in us today; and which still often sounds impossible to implement without His help.
18- What can He ask us to do?
There is an infinity of things He can ask us to do. In fact He is our Healer. It is the Holy Spirit who builds us anew. He can ask us to forgive a specific person; He can ask us to entrust a burden to Him; He can show us his mercy…
19- Can the outcome be a general indication or does it have to be clear?
The initial meeting of the two texts in one meaning is but a general light: mercy, forgiveness, love, patience, attention,… But this general indication leaves us with no practical act to perform, and may lead to our thinking process taking over and dominating LD.
The fruit of LD is a specific daily act inspired by the Holy Spirit, an incarnation of a clear word in us. Jesus does not remain in the vague and the uncertain. He came to guide us, He is our true Shepherd. (for a more developed explanation see “Finished and unfinished Lectio Divina”)
20- How does the general indication become a clear one?
Jesus’ Word can be compared to a ball of light and love, about to become incarnate in us. When we perceive the general light of the Holy Spirit, we must allow it to go, first, through the mind in different stages as we start to understand God’s will, (say ‘mercy’), then, through insistent begging, we see very clearly where it touches us in the will (‘forgive this particular person’), until finally we understand which act He wants us to perform. (for a more developed explanation see “Finished and unfinished Lectio Divina”)
21- How do we implement what He asks us?
Yet again the direct help of the Holy Spirit is vital in order to put into practice the Word received by Jesus on the specific day. When Our Lady asked the Angel how the Incarnation would come about, he replied: “the Holy Spirit will come upon you” (Luke 1:35). The Holy Spirit is the Master of the Incarnation of the Word in us. The case for LD, in a nutshell, is that it is a Word, a Light, an Indication, a Message, that we receive on a daily basis, so that Jesus the Word of God will grow in us.
22- What change occurs in us on a daily basis?
The Word of God feeds and transforms our Mind and our Will. Our Mind is enlightened by the Word of God, our Will is healed in one specific area.
23- What is the relationship between the Word of God and the Holy Spirit?
‘The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God’ (see Ephesians 6:17) How does this ‘sword’ work?
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
24- How does the Word of God allow the Holy Spirit to fertilise our mind?
It is in the Word of God passing through us that the Holy Spirit offers crucial attributes to the mind: “wisdom” to see things as God sees them; “understanding” of the Word of God, and its connection with previously received words; “knowledge” of what it means in my world on a practical level; “counsel” on how exactly to apply it that day.
25- How does the Word of God allow the Holy Spirit to fertilise our will?
The Holy Spirit also offers to the will: “piety”, showing how today’s act will be led most fervently by that new received word; “fortitude”, drive and power to put it into practice; “delicate attention to God’s will” (“filial fear of God”) to be grounded in his Word and not to disregard it.
26- How does LD influence our day?
LD unifies our day under its supernatural light. We often notice that the whole day is like varying illustrations of the same light we had received in the morning. The Lords teaches us throughout the day how that same light fecundates different aspects of our daily life, reflections of it echoing throughout the day.
27- What are the steps of the first part of LD?
The listening process in LD can be summarised in the following 5 steps:
Active phase: seeking understanding
1- Read (1) in order to understand the text
Listening phase: asking for the help of the Holy Spirit
2- Read (2) in order to discover Christ’s will
3- Read (3) until I see only one light
4- Read (4) until the light becomes clear
5- Write down the words or sentences from the readings that touched me
28- What are the steps of the second part of LD?
The implementation process (putting into practice the word received) can be summarised in the following 5 steps:1- Asking the Holy Spirit’s help in order to put into practice the Word
2- Giving thanks, being immersed in Him
3- Putting into practice the Word received
4- Echoes during the day
5- At the end of the day: giving thanks.
29– How can we summarise LD?
It is literally a real act of love and a way of discerning if we really love Jesus or not: “whoever loves me will keep my words” (John 14:23)