Thursday, January 7, 2010

Study and lectio

I’ve noticed something over the last year or so that seems strange; I keep rediscovering spiritual practices that somehow over the years I either forgotten or just moved away from. Most of these rediscoveries are quite serendipitous, but still, I often find them beneficial. 

For example, before I came into the Church my habit was to do something akin to lectio but not the same thing. I found it useful when spending an extended period of time reading one particular chapter or book of the Bible, to spend the greater part of that time more in study than just reading. Often, I would focus in on one word in a verse and try to get to the meaning of that word, and all the implications it contains. This often lead effortlessly, more or less, into prayer.

Once I came into the Church and began to study what lectio was, I abandoned my old practice and tried to strictly follow the standard procedure for lectio divina. I always struggled with it. Then, late last week I received two copies of a magazine called Bible Study Magazine. I guess they were sent as ads, but I opened one up and noticed they had an eight week study on Hebrews Chapter 11 right in the magazine. I started to read that, and then thought, just for a little change of scene I might work through a bit of it. Then I realized, that is what I used to do “all those years ago,” to quote an old Beatles song. My old habits came right back to me and seemed just as appropriate for me as a Catholic as when I was a Protestant. I thought immediately of the Rule and how Benedictine it is to go with what works. For the time being, at least, it works for me.

Over the next post or two, I’ll try to share some of an insights I’ve gained in studying Hebrews 11, actually, the study goes from Heb 10:32-12:2. There are some interesting details in that passage.

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