Lectio divina

This is the meaning of contemplatio, which refers not to mystical or ecstatic experiences but to a level of communication inexpressible in words: silence, tears, the presence of the lover to the beloved, discernment of the Lord’s unutterable presence. Contemplatio also indicates the work accomplished in us by the Spirit who inhabits the Word: the Spirit creates in us patience, endurance, inner unification, discernment, a eucharistic attitude, and compassion for all of creation - in a word, love that overflows. This is essentially how lectio divina helps us make the transition between the Word and our life: it makes us people who know how to listen, and therefore people of faith. In lectio divina our approach to the Bible is not intellectual but sapiential, and it obeys the principle of blessed Francis of Siena: “Anointing, not erudition; consciousness, not science; love, not the printed page.” It is an approach to reading that requires interiorization, so that the Word can embed itself and take root in the human heart; perseverance in renewing day after day our willingness to listen and in standing firm in our faith, which embraces not just a certain phase of our life but our entire existence; and the spiritual struggle of clinging to the Word we have heard as we would to a precious possession, without exchanging it for those alluring but illusory goods which are actually idols.