We were indeed privileged to have Fr Mark Hogan and many Catholics from Itchen Valley join us for an evening studying over zoom two passages of the Bible through the ancient practice of Lectio Divina. There were just under 35 of us all together.
Fr Mark explained that Lectio Divina is a very ancient practice which goes back to early monasticism of immersing ourselves in God’s word by five steps as follows:
- Reading. Read a passage slowly and carefully within the bible.
- Prayer. Having a loving conversation with God.
- Meditation. Thinking deeply or swelling upon a spiritual reality within a text.
- Contemplation. Resting in Gods presence.
- Action. Go and do likewise.
Fr Mark took us through Luke 2:41-51 which was read by Stephanie Gretton and again by Dan Day Robinson
41 Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. 43 When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. 44 Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” 49 He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what he said to them. 51 Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.
We read the passage twice. We spent several minutes in quiet contemplation. Fr Mark then guided us through meditating on the passage and looking for words which sprung out of the text for us which God might be drawing to our attention. I then sought to facilitate the feedback and draw out from those who were attending. Particular words had great resonance for each of us.
We then turned to our next passage Ephesians 2:4-10, which were read by John Barber and by Fr Mark.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us 5 even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— 9 not the result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.
It was a wonderful introduction to this ancient practice of the church.
Thank you so much to Fr Mark and our Catholic brothers and sisters of the Itchen Valley for joining us. Let’s pray that next year we can meet up in person.
For those who would like to follow up on the Lectio 365 app please follow this link https://www.24-7prayer.com/dailydevotional
Rector Itchen Valley Parish