Lectio Divina

“Lectio Divina” means divine reading in Latin. It’s an ancient practice that teaches us how to read, meditate on and live the Word of God. History tells us that it was the Blessed Guigo the Carthusian, who wrote the “most important stages” of this way of meditating the word. It’s not a prayer with fixed rules, but it does have important phases which will guide us towards an encounter with a personal message from God to us, through the Sacred Scriptures.

These phases are four: the lectio or reading of God’s word; the meditatio, or meditation on that which we have read; the oratio, or prayer which is when we enter in dialogue with God; and finally the contemplatio, or contemplation stage in which we abandon ourselves to holy thoughts. This is when we leave behind our own thoughts and get ready to listen to God’s voice, who speaks within us.

Lectio Divina can be done individually or in a group. It’s the latter which makes the structure necessary. Today, we present a way to develop this meditation. It will, for sure, help you grow in your relationship with God.

“Reading seeks, meditation finds, prayer asks, contemplation feels. Reading puts as it were whole food into your mouth; meditation chews it and breaks it down; prayer finds its savour; contemplation is the sweetness that so delights and strengthens. Reading is like the bark, the shell; meditation like the pith, the nut; prayer is in the desiring asking; and contemplation is in the delight of the great sweetness” (Blessed Guigo The Carthusian – Fragment about contemplative life).

1. Preparation ahead of time. Finding the Scripture reading.
Lectio Divina

Before starting the Lectio it’s important to prepare yourself by looking for the Gospel for the corresponding day’s Mass (or another one which you want to meditate on), as well as quotes and comments that could help you to deepen your understanding and to prepare some questions for personal reflection. Carefully read different commentaries and try to find the most important points that catch your attention. Afterwards, you can begin the actual prayer.

2. Sign of the Cross
Lectio Divina

We start by finding the right spot and position for prayer – a quiet, comfortable place free of distraction but suitable for concentration. The next step (which can seem obvious, but it’s important to remember) is that a Catholic always starts his prayers with the Sign of the Cross.

3. Initial Prayer
Lectio Divina
There are many prayers with which we can open Lectio Divina. One suggestion is to invoke the Holy Spirit so He enlightens us and allows us to listen to the message God wants to give us through his Word. Here we give you an example, but you can just build the initial prayer with your own words.

“My Lord, in your presence I want to prepare my heart for this moment of prayer. Send your Holy Spirit to enlighten me and open my mind and heart to everything You want to tell me today. Thank you Lord, for nourishing me with your Word.”

4. Scripture Reading
Lectio Divina
It’s at this point where the scripture reading of the previously selected Gospel is done. It can be that day’s Gospel or any other you choose to meditate on. It’s nice to do the reading directly from the Bible and slowly, that way you can understand what is written.

5. Brief Reading
Lectio Divina
This is the point where we re-read the commentary or reflection of the Gospel we found or chose in our preparation. This brief reading’s aim is to help you go deeper into the scripture’s sense and to predispose yourself to listen to God’s voice.

6. Brief personal meditation
Lectio Divina
This is when interior silence is made and the meditation properly starts. The idea is to reflect on what the Gospel has to do with your life, and to welcome it into your heart. Here we propose some questions which could help you during this phase, but they are merely suggestions:

What does the Gospel I just read tell me?
How does it enlighten my life?
What traits of Jesus do I find in it?
What particular message does God want to deliver to me?
7. Thanksgiving and personal petitions
Lectio Divina
To wrap it up, and after having meditated on the scripture reading, we give thanks to God for the lived moment and we pray to Him for our intentions. It’s a moment of “free time,” in which you raise a prayer to God from the experience of the encounter you just had with Him, you contemplate Him and let your heart be transformed with His Word.

8. Final prayer and consecration to Mary
Lectio Divina
We’ve reached the end of our Lectio. As we said at the beginning of this post, it’s not a rigid structure. We can finish the Lectio with the thanksgiving prayer. But a beautiful way to close it is by consecrating ourselves to Mary and asking for her intercession. We suggest you pray an Our Father, a Hail Mary and a Glory Be.

9. Sign of the Cross
Lectio Divina
Having finished our meditation and after doing a consecration to Mary, we end the same way we started, with the Sign of the Cross.

The Rosary

Praying the Rosary

The Rosary helps us to pray to Jesus through Mary. When we pray the Rosary, we think about the special events, or mysteries, in the lives of Jesus and Mary.

The Rosary is made up of a string of beads and a crucifix. read more

The Mysteries of the Rosary

Joyful Mysteries

1. The Annunciation
2. The Visitation
3. The Nativity
4. The Presentation
5. The Finding in the Temple

The Mysteries of Light

1. The Baptism in the Jordan
2. The Wedding at Cana
3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom
4. The Transfiguration
5. The Institution of the Eucharist

Sorrowful Mysteries

1. Agony in the Garden
2. Scourging at the Pillar
3. Crowning with Thorns
4. Carrying of the Cross
5. The Crucifixion e

 Glorious Mysteries

1. The Resurrection
2. The Ascension
3. Descent of the Holy Spirit
4. The Assumption
5. Crowning of Mary

Pope Francis invites us at the conclusion of the Rosary with that most ancient invocation to the Holy Mother of God, “Sub Tuum Praesidium” as well as the traditional prayer to St. Michael ascribed to Pope Leo the XIII.

Under your protection

We fly to Thy protection,
O holy Mother of God;
Do not despise our petitions in our necessities,

but deliver us always
from all dangers,
O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.

St. Michael prayer

“St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.”


Our conscious relationship with God is through prayer. Prayer takes many forms and finding what suits you can take trial and error and exploration of different ways of praying.


Meditative Prayer

You are invited to take part in our Meditative Prayer sessions.

This method of praying follows the practice of “Divine Reading” known as Lectio Divina.  It is a gentle way to experience the Word of God becoming alive within us.

Thursday 7.30 pm and Sunday at 6pm at the St Francis Xavier Prayer Room, Gardiner Street Church. Enter via Parish Office.

Online Prayer Resources


Liturgical Calendar

Ignatian Spirituality

Ignatian spirituality offers a way of seeing the connection between ourselves, our God and our world. It is a holistic and practical spirituality that can help us to 'find God in all things'.

The First Principle and Foundation
 (St. Ignatius of Loyola, as paraphrased by David L. Fleming, S.J.)

St. Ignatius begins his Spiritual Exercises with The First Principle and Foundation. While not typically thought of as a prayer, it still contains much that is worth reflecting on.

The Goal of our life is to live with God forever.
 God, who loves us, gave us life.
 Our own response of love allows God's life
 to flow into us without limit.
 All the things in this world are gifts from God,
 Presented to us so that we can know God more easily
 and make a return of love more readily.
 As a result, we appreciate and use all these gifts of God
 Insofar as they help us to develop as loving persons.
 But if any of these gifts become the center of our lives,
 They displace God
 And so hinder our growth toward our goal.
 In everyday life, then, we must hold ourselves in balance
 Before all of these created gifts insofar as we have a choice
 And are not bound by some obligation.
 We should not fix our desires on health or sickness,
 Wealth or poverty, success or failure, a long life or a short one.
 For everything has the potential of calling forth in us
 A deeper response to our life in God.
 Our only desire and our one choice should be this:
 I want and I choose what better leads
 To God's deepening his life in me.

Suscipe (St. Ignatius of Loyola)

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
 my memory, my understanding
 and my entire will,
 All I have and call my own.
 You have given all to me.
 To you, Lord, I return it.
 Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
 Give me only your love and your grace.
 That is enough for me.

Prayer for Generosity (St. Ignatius of Loyola)

Lord, teach me to be generous.
 Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
 to give and not to count the cost,
 to fight and not to heed the wounds,
 to toil and not to seek for rest,
 to labor and not to ask for reward,
 save that of knowing that I do your will.

Anima Christi (St. Ignatius of Loyola)

Soul of Christ, sanctify me
 Body of Christ, save me
 Blood of Christ, inebriate me
 Water from the side of Christ, wash me
 Passion of Christ, strengthen me
 Good Jesus, hear me
 Within the wounds, shelter me
 from turning away, keep me
 From the evil one, protect me
 At the hour of my death, call me
 Into your presence lead me
 to praise you with all your saints
 Forever and ever


Thoughts & Prayers

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