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Lectio Divina (translated Holy or Divine Reading) is a traditional way of praying the Scriptures so that this living Word may penetrate our hearts and minds and that we may grow in an intimate relationship with Christ Jesus our Lord. It is an ancient method of prayer practiced by the early Fathers of the Church and passed on to various monastic orders of the Church.
All Catholic Christians are encouraged to not only read the Bible, but pray it daily. Our last two popes encourage all the faithful in this regard:
“There is no doubt that this primacy of holiness and prayer is inconceivable without a renewed listening to the word of God… it is above all the work of evangelization and catechesis which is drawing new life from attentiveness to the word of God. Dear brothers and sisters, this development needs to be consolidated and deepened, also by making sure that every family has a Bible. It is especially necessary that listening to the word of God should become a life-giving encounter, in the ancient and ever valid tradition of “lectio divina,” which draws from the biblical text the living word which questions, directs and shapes our lives."
From the encyclical Novo Millennio Ineunte No. 39
by Pope John Paul II
“The conciliar Constitution Dei Verbum emphasized appreciation for the Word of God, which developed into a profound renewal for the life of the Ecclesial Community, especially in preaching, catechesis, theology, spirituality and ecumenical relations. Indeed, it is the Word of God which guides believers, through the action of the Holy Spirit, towards all truth (cf. Jn ).
Among the many fruits of this biblical springtime I would like to mention the spread of the ancient practice of Lectio divina or "spiritual reading" of Sacred Scripture. It consists in pouring over a biblical text for some time, reading it and rereading it, as it were, "ruminating" on it as the Fathers say and squeezing from it, so to speak, all its "juice", so that it may nourish meditation and contemplation and, like water, succeed in irrigating life itself.”
From Pope Benedict XVI’s Angelus Message - November 6, 2005