Tips for 3rd Step of Lectio Divina – Prayer – Oratio

In this 3rd step, oratio, we enter into the core of Christian prayer is a heart-to-heart conversation with God, a personal response to God’s unique revelation to you.

  • “Oratio is simply the response of the heart to God” (Dan Burke).

Oratio is the time when we start to talk to Jesus through our questions, puzzlement, wonder, fear, complaints, and happiness regarding the things we discover on the sacred page. Grounded on the full teaching of the Church, oratio is a time to wrestle with God in prayer (see Gn 32:24-32).

  • Our conversation should be as natural as with someone whom we deeply love and desire to know.

Oratio is when we really enter into the heart of lectio divina, an encounter with the living Christ.

  • “For lectio’s goal can be no other than an encounter with the living Christ Jesus, the encounter in mutual knowledge and love that, naturally tending toward union, gradually transforms us into his very image and person. For we become like what we admire, love, and adore” (Merikakis, LD:AYATT, 436).

Throughout your time of meditation, it will be common for your responses to naturally come to a close. Then, we can turn back to the meditation material, waiting for the next inspiration from God.

  • “In whatever manner we are led, we ask for forgiveness, we thank Him, we praise Him, we ask Him to for the grace to be changed by what we have read. We ask Him to help us more fully realize what He wants us to be and to help us apply His moral, spiritual, or practical guidance to our lives. As we engage with Him, He may choose to call us deeper, to become lost in this heavenly dialogue with Him. For those who tend to be very talkative in life and prayer, it might be important here to slow down our own words and to be attentive to Him rather than to what we desire to say. We will eventually find ourselves moving into contemplatio” (Dan Burke).


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