I have been preparing for an upcoming retreat at a Benedictine monastery in the same way as I prepared for the annual oblate retreat of several weeks ago. I have selected an idea or spiritual practice as my theme during the weeks before the upcoming retreat.
My focus for our upcoming retreat is divine reading — the slow contemplative reading of scripture where I let God talk to my heart and mind. This type of reading is called lectio divina (pronounced lex-ee-oh dih-vee-nuh).
Lectio divina is an ancient spiritual practice — it is not a practice of learning. It is not reading for the details of a theological system or for history. It is divine reading formed in silence. It is listening beyond the words. It is a wonderful way for me to prepare for the next retreat.