Prayerful reading of scripture: 10 words of advice

By Carlos Mesters OCarm, 22 November 2020
Image: Hannah Busing/Unsplash


The British Province of Carmelite Friars offers ten words of advice when participating in Lectio Divina, or prayerful reading of scripture.

Dutch-born Carlos Mesters, O.Carm, the noted Carmelite Scripture scholar, has written an introduction to Lectio Divina. Carlos Mesters, a revered figure in the vast Brazilian Catholic church, spent a lifetime connecting the Word of God with the basic ecclesial communities.

Lectio Divina enables us to contemplate God and God’s will in our lives. If prayed regularly, Lectio can deepen our relationship with God,” he writes.

“There are many difficulties: pastoral pressures lead us to read the Bible more for others than for ourselves; we have too little time to stop and allow the Word to penetrate into our lives; often, our way of reading smacks more of study and discussion than of meditation and prayer. Also, there is a certain rationalism in us and the remains of forms of fundamentalism, which disturb us with questions like: Did it really happen like that? And, how could God allow that to happen? All of this makes peaceful attention to the Word of God more difficult.

“A prayerful reading of the Bible within what is traditionally called Lectio Divina is an urgent task if we are to be faithful to what God asks of us today. It is something like curing the veins where the blood which keeps us alive has to flow.”

Carlos Mesters then offers 10 words of advice to guide our prayerful reading of the scriptures.

The full list can be found here

With thanks to the British Province of Carmelite Friars.


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