Our paper Scripture Meditation: Lectio Divina recommends our thinking about prayer and meditation in seven steps. As a memory aid we chose seven words beginning with the letter ′R′. There are plenty of people who will criticise such an approach. However, we have often found that conveyors of such negativity do not in fact spend much time in Scripture reflection, though they may engage in some form of what they consider meditation.
We recommend that individuals and group leaders take seriously the place Reverence holds in this particular cultural approach. It is something that doesn′t just happen. It is an attitude which requires reviewing from time to time as to how we respect the things of God and the true importance we attach to them, especially in our homes.
A second aspect of general preparation for any spiritual pursuit is Recollection. This can take 5 seconds or 5 minutes ― or as long as the Holy Spirit draws you to spend. Being recollected is not just coming into a frame of mind in which you can concentrate on what you are doing without distractions. Recollection is one of the most beautiful moments before we undertake any spiritual work. Yes, it certainly is about turning from other daily concerns ― important and honourable as they are ― and trying, in a practical way, to be focussed on the task in hand. But it is even more than that.
Recollection us an activity which can be implemented any time of the day or night. It is, as mentioned, wise to get recollected just prior to prayer, spiritual reading or whatever. But it can also be beneficial to spend a moment consciously recollecting oneself during prayer, or, if the Holy Spirit calls, while bathing the baby or vacuuming the floor.
Recollection can involve a wide range of perspectives. We list just a few examples.
• Recalling the presence of God into whose midst we desire to enter,
or in fact being called with warmth and serenity.
• Allowing our minds to acknowledge God’s presence within us.
• Remembering we are members of God’s Household, and, as family,
take delight in cherishing that truth, and responding to it in our own
• Expressing gratitude for our Faith and the immense cultural heritage
which this brings to us.
• Inviting the Holy Spirit to rekindle is us the sacred Light contained
in the teaching of our Messiah the Lord Jesus; and to form within us
a robust resilient attachment to the Divine Word which we can share
with our family, friends and community.
Fostering and Nurturing Christ in Us.
When we choose to engage in an on-going discipline of Scripture reflection and meditation, we are engaging in one of the most crucial activities in the life of the Church ― a pursuit which will lead us to know, love and serve our Messiah, the Lord Jesus better, and to help others to do the same. That is at the heart of true evangelisation. It may seem a back-room activity but in the Spiritual realm, it is right at the front-line.
When we are genuinely wanting to prepare ourselves for our Scripture meditation there are the obvious requirements everyone has to attend to and these are best left to each person′s judgment. When it comes to considering specific preparation for a session of reflection etc, it is beneficial, if time permits (and sometimes it won′t!), to consider:-
• a brief reading of the Scripture to be used;
• even going so far as to take note of an idea or two which arise as
• briefly looking at the collection of Scriptures, appointed for
the coming Sunday ― if these are the ones to be used ― or at
whatever is to be reflected upon. (If you own a modern Missal,
that may provide an introduction to the theme of the day.)
Your preparation, especially if it is prior to a group reflection, could include, if it suits your “style”, some studying of the text or reflection and noting possible applications for daily life ― all to help the group leader open up the text.
Not to be overlooked, is the importance of prayer for the group leader and yourself. This can include the conscious invitation of the Lord Jesus to help you (all) grow stronger in Him ― in Christ the Word.
Preparation is, as we have seen, not just what we do to get ready for a session or meeting. It is also to be seen in:―
• the significance, status and dignity we personally confer on any
• how we organise our daily schedule to enable us to attend to
• how we prioritise our use of time and resources.
We hope our brief comments will help you in your preparation and meditation on the teaching of Sacred Scripture.
Psalm 119: 33 ― 37
LORD, teach me the way of your laws;
I shall observe them with care.
Give me insight to observe your teaching,
to keep it with all my heart.
Lead me in the path of your commands,
for that is my delight.
Direct my heart toward your decrees
and away from unjust gain.
Avert my eyes from what is worthless;
by your way give me life.