In our Rule of Life, we get a glimpse of how the first Carmelite hermits centered their lives around the Word of God. In our ways of praying today, we seek to recapture that center. One way to listen to God is to prayerfully read the Bible. In doing so, we can connect with the impulse of the men who gathered on Mount Carmel more than 800 years ago.
First, we share one way of prayerful reading of the Bible, called Lectio Divina or holy reading followed by other examples of Carmelite prayers.
Ten Points for Personal Lectio Divina
The attitude of the faithful disciple:
“The Lord God has given, me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word the on that is weary. Morning by morning God wakens, wakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.”
- Say an opening prayer, invoking the Holy Spirit.
- Slowly and attentively read the text.
- Take a moment of interior silence, to recall what you have read.
- Look at the meaning of each phrase.
- Bring the word into the present, ponder it, in relation to your life.
- Try to broaden your vision by relating this text to other biblical texts.
- Read the text again as a prayer, giving a response to God.
- Formulate a commitment in my life based on the text.
- Pray a suitable Psalm.
- Choose a phrase which captures the meaning and memorize it.