Sunday, August 9, 2009

Some Monastic Wisdom on Lectio

At fixed hours time should be given to certain definite reading.  Haphazard reading, constantly varied and lighted on by chance does not edify but makes the mind unstable.  Taken into the memory lightly, it leaves it even more lightly.  You should concentrate on certain authors and let your mind grow used to them . . .

Some part of your daily reading should be committed to memory every day, taken as it were into the stomach, to be more carefully digested and brought up again for frequent rumination – something in keeping with your vocation and helpful to concentration, something that will take hold of the mind and save it from distraction.

The reading should also stir you affections and give rise to prayer, which should interrupt you reading – an interruption which should not so much impede the reading as to restore to it a mind ever more purified for understanding.

For reading serves the purpose of the intention with which it is done.  If a reader truly seeks God in the reading, everything he reads tends to promote that end, making the mind surrender in the course of the reading and bringing all that is understood into Christ’s service.

William of St. Thierry

The Golden Epistle 1.120-124

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