“For the word of God is living and active” (Heb.4:12)
Yesterday, I wrote about my personal experience of A Simple Faith and how, over the years, it has maintained a fairly straight-forward form during that time. In essence, it consists of the sacramental life of the Church, expressed within the parish community; and prayer, taking the form of the Rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet.
Answering a question in a survey some time ago regarding the preferred forms of prayer, several options were given, including the Rosary and Lectio Divina. I noted that my preference is the Rosary – however, I qualified this by adding that my way of praying the Rosary is very heavily reliant upon Scripture as the basis of each meditation.
Some time ago, I wrote about the practice of Lectio Divina, the meditative and prayerful study of the Scriptures. In that earlier article, I had quoted this section from the Catechism, which counsels us on the benefits of praying in this way –
“Christian prayer tries above all to meditate on the mysteries of Christ, as in lectio divina or the Rosary. This form of prayerful reflection is of great value, but Christian prayer should go further: to the knowledge of the love of the Lord Jesus, to union with Him.” (Catechism, para.2708)
And so I was very pleased to learn recently that the Diocese of Motherwell Adult Formation Team (Mission & Evangelisation) had arranged a short evening called ‘Praying At Pentecost’, which took place yesterday evening in an online session. I was very happy to be able to take part in the session.
On the Diocese of Motherwell website, the group noted their intention –
“The Diocesan Adult Formation team started a new adventure in the social media (Twitter), to help us communicate our activities and agenda across the Diocese. This Twitter account (@LectioMotherwe1) will invite us to reflect, each Sunday, on its corresponding Gospel. By highlighting a short sentence from the Holy Scriptures, we are aiming to regularly propose a framework for our own prayer, as if we were collectively – and virtually – practising Lectio Divina. Our aim is not to propose a bible-study or a ‘thought for the day’, but to create a community of faithful – across the Diocese – consciously growing in relationship with Christ and deliberately consenting the Word of God to transform each of us in our daily life.”
Co-ordinated and led by a small group under the direction of Fr Tom Magill, the session followed the usual ‘lectio’ structure of “lectio, meditatio, oratio, contemplatio” – read, meditate, pray, contemplate. I thought the session was very well-prepared and there were good audio and visual supports, which kept the session both clear and focussed.
The lectio focussed on a short passage from the Gospel of Saint John, in which the Risen Christ appears to the Apostles in the Upper Room. One short phrase from the text jumped out at me and I have found myself considering it quite a lot since then – it seems to have taken root.
The session lasted just thirty minutes which was, I thought, perfect – neither too short nor long. It didn’t require previous experience of lectio, as everything was made very clear throughout the session. And the group members were very welcoming – I even received a brief note later on thanking me for taking part, which I thought was a lovely touch.
I found the experience satisfying and certainly very prayerful and I would be very keen to take part again.
There was one other reason why I was pleased to have been involved.
In the past, I have commented that much of what the Church offers is most-often directed toward the younger members of the Church, so that anyone older than thrity-five might sometimes feel a bit left out. This session was very much aimed at on-going adult formation, so it proved to me that there are, in fact, resources out there for those of us past a certain age.