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Scholastic Lectio Divina


The scholastic form occurs in the following hierarchical stages.  This way started in the Middle Ages.  It compartmentalizes the spiritual life by relying on rational analysis in theology to the virtual exclusion of personal experience.

  1. Lectio – Allow word or phrase to arise.

  2. Meditatio – Reflecting on word or phrase.

  3. Oratio – Will performs affective prayer.

  4. Contemplatio – Resting with God.


The monastic way has no stages but rather four moments in a circle.  The moments of lectio, meditatio, oratio, and contemplatio are joined to each other and to the Holy Spirit at the center of our hearts.  To be in any moment is to be in all four so prayer may begin at any moment and easily move between moments by the inspiration of the Spirit as graphically shown here.

Monastic Lectio Divina
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