Summary of “Lectio Divina” by Dr. Brant Pitre

“The Ladder from Earth to Heaven”

  • Guigo II uses Genesis 28 in the story of Jacob’s Ladder to explain how to pray with Scripture.
  • This ladder is really an ascending staircase up to God.
  • In the Catechism 2653, Guigo II is quoted to explain how to pray with Scripture: “Seek in reading and you will find in meditating; knock in mental prayer and it will be opened to you by contemplation.”

Reading = “the diligent examination of Scripture with the attentiveness of soul”

  • The attentiveness of the soul! Don’t skim. Be recollected.

Meditation = “the studious action of the mind as it searches out the knowledge of hidden truth under the guidance of its own reasoning power.”

  • What is the hidden truth behind this?
  • Ask questions. Use the intellect to penetrate the depths of the Word.
  • Unpack the Word.

Prayer = the heart’s devout reaching out to God for the removal of evils or the acquisition of goods”

  • Now you ask God for something
  • “Lord, make me more like Christ.”

Contemplation = “the elevation of the mind above itself, suspended in God, as it tastes the joys of eternal sweetness”

  • The ladder goes up to a person (from words to the Word).
  • Goal = communion with God! Not knowledge of biblical facts.

In the Mass, we live this out!

  1. Readings
  2. Homily – a meditation on the readings to draw out the hidden meaning in Scripture
  3. Eucharistic prayer – ask for all the things we need from God
  4. Communion – now God acts when He comes to us. You can’t do it. He does it.
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