Benedictine Oblates, novices, guests and visitors are welcome at the next meeting of the Oblate Circle March 17, 2013 beginning at 1:00 pm in the Lake Room of Saint Leo Abbey, Saint Leo, Florida (map & directions). The Oblate Circle is a Benedictine-book study group.
The Benedictine practice of lectio divina is the slow prayerful reading of the Bible, seeking the illumination of Christ.
Who should attend? Anyone interested in learning more about the Benedictine monastic practice of lectio divina (pronounced LEK-si-oh dih-VEE-nuh).
Origen (182-254 AD) was the first to use the term lectio divina. Pope Benedict XVI said it was Origen’s insight into seeking God while prayerfully reading the Bible that monks adopted as part of their monastic practice. The widest use of lectio divina is by the Benedictines. Monks at Saint Leo Abbey can often be seen in the quiet abbey church engaged in lectio divina — the public is welcome to join them — bring your Bible.
From Pope Benedict XVI:
“In his Letter to Gregory, Origen recommends: "Study first of all the lectio of the divine Scriptures. Study them, I say. For we need to study the divine writings deeply... and while you study these divine works with a believing and God-pleasing intention, knock at that which is closed in them and it shall be opened to you by the porter, of whom Jesus says, "To him the gatekeeper opens'.
"While you attend to this lectio divina, seek aright and with unwavering faith in God the hidden sense which is present in most passages of the divine Scriptures. And do not be content with knocking and seeking, for what is absolutely necessary for understanding divine things is oratio [prayer], and in urging us to this the Saviour says not only "knock and it will be opened to you', and "seek and you will find', but also "ask and it will be given you'" (Ep. Gr. 4).
The "primordial role" played by Origen in the history of lectio divina instantly flashes before one's eyes. Bishop Ambrose of Milan, who learned from Origen's works to interpret the Scriptures, later introduced them into the West to hand them on to Augustine and to the monastic tradition that followed.” Source: Pope Benedict XVI General Audience, St Peter's Square, Wednesday, 2 May 2007.