We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, he draws us to himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Lectio Divina in the newly released Apostolic Consitution Vultum Dei Quaerere

The Holy See Press Office has recently released the Apostolic Constitution Vultum Dei Quaerere (Seeking the face of God) On Women's Contemplative Life.

Contained therein is a passage on Lectio Divina.
20. Lectio divina, the prayerful reading of God’s word, is an art that helps us pass from the biblical text to life. It is an existential interpretation of sacred Scripture, whereby we can bridge the gap between spirituality and daily life, between faith and life. The process initiated by lectio divina is meant to guide us from hearing to knowledge, and from knowledge to love. Today, thanks to the biblical renewal that received fresh impetus especially in the wake of the Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum of the Second Vatican Council, everyone is invited to familiarity with the Scriptures. Through prayerful and assiduous reading of the biblical text, dialogue with God becomes a daily reality for his People. Lectio divina should help you to cultivate a docile, wise and discerning heart (cf. 1 Kg 3:9.12), capable of knowing what is of God and what, on the other hand, can lead away from him. Lectio divina should allow you to acquire that kind of supernatural intuition which enabled your founders and foundresses to avoid being conformed to the mentality of this world, but renewed in their own minds, “to discern what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Rm 12:2).
Your entire day, both personal and in community, ought to be organized around the word of God. Thus your communities and fraternities will become schools where the word is carefully listened to, put into practice and proclaimed to all those who encounter you. Lastly, never forget that “the process of lectio divina is not concluded until it arrives at action (actio), which moves the believer to make his or her life a gift for others in charity”. In this way, it will produce abundant fruits along the path of conformation to Christ, the goal of our entire life.
Let us hope this nod to lectio divina will help steer all believers away from pseudo-mysticism of a kind, for example, associated with "Christian Meditation" and "Centering Prayer" as well as other aberrant forms of spirituality and dangerous "spiritual" practices too frequently and naively embraced by our religious (monks and nuns) brothers and sisters.

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