The Contemplative Prayer Ministry at St. Thomas More provides its members with the opportunity to encounter a loving God on a deeply personal level. We use the framework of lectio divina or divine reading that was handed down to us by St. Benedict and Pope Gregory I. More recently, Pope Francis, in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, has recommended the practice of prayerfully reading scripture and "allowing it to enlighten and renew us."
Lectio divina progresses in one session from Bible reading (lectio) to meditation (meditatio), prayer (oratio), and finally to contemplation (contemplation).
Progression in this form first was described formally by Guigo II, a Cathusian monk and prior of Grande Chartreuse in the 12th century. In these stages, we first read the text and then meditate on its significance for us and our lives. This leads to a personal prayer to God, a kind of purification that brings us face to face with ourselves and with a loving God. The final step in the process is just sitting and being fully present with God.
Emphasis is placed on silence for much of the session so as to avoid distractions that prevent our focusing fully on God. There will be an opportunity for brief discussion, however, at the end of the session. As. St. Therese of Lisieux said, “ Holiness is not the result of heroic efforts to improve ourselves but is the sheer gift of God;s transforming love.”