Lectio Divina finds a home at St. Francis Xavier School
What does a page from a composition notebook divided into 4 squares and the Bible have in common? At St. Francis Xavier School, it is the simple and profound way that students learn to read to Bible according to Lectio Divina or “Divine Reading”. This traditional practice of the Church was formed in monastic life and provides a way to deepen a relationship with God through reading His Word. Often, students begin a class by looking up the Bible reference for the Gospel reading of the day in their classroom Bibles. In the first part, Lectio, the student reads the Scripture closely, considers what it is saying, and writes a summary. The Meditatio follows where the student reflects on the Scripture’s meaning and significance. Next, the Oratio invites students to form a prayerful response of praise or question. Finally, the Contemplatio consist of a quiet time to consider the thoughts about the Scripture that come from God. This last part is listening to God’s voice, and being attentive to the revelation of Divine Truth that only comes from God. The Lectio Divina is significant in the life of St. Francis Xavier School. It is important that each student is taught how to use their Bible, and how to read Sacred Scripture as an essential aspect of their Catholic life. When students practice Lectio Divina they are reading carefully, considering meaning, praying for help in understanding, and silently waiting for God. One 6th grader commented, “When I read the Bible in class, Lectio Divina helps me think about the Scripture and its meaning throughout the day.” Lectio Divina demonstrates that reading and study in school are not only a practice in acquiring knowledge or skills, but can provide a revelation of Divine Truth that transforms the life of each student. Lectio Divina has also influenced the way that teachers present lessons in Religion. As students and teachers commit to practicing Lectio Divina, the use of Scripture when teaching any topic in Religion becomes a natural path to a deeper understanding of what is studied. The distractions of noise and technology are prevalent. It is exciting that Catholic school can be a place where students are provided an opportunity and means to develop the virtuous habit of reading Sacred Scripture frequently, purposefully, and prayerfully.