Cistercian Monastery Of Bolton Abbey
Seeking God as a Way of Life

Lectio Divina is one of the ‘pillars’ in the monk’s daily routine. It is Lectio Divina which makes silence and solitude possible and gives them their real meaning. Lectio Divina is a slow meditative reading on the Word of God. It is not study and it is not about trying to extract the meaning from a text. It is more akin to listening very attentively to a much loved person. It would not be unusual to spend an hour just on one or two lines. Every word this much-loved person, Jesus, speaks to us is literally worth more than gold. His words are infinitely life-giving also. Lectio Divina can, with the help of the Holy Spirit, ultimately lead to contemplative prayer. After many years of faithfulness to this type of prayerful reading of scripture the monk, and indeed all Christians, acquire a sensitivity to the action of the Holy Spirit and his presence within. St Bernard describes it, “Whilst I was quietly reading the Sacred Word, all of a sudden my heart within me dilated. I was filled with the joy of your presence. I do not know how long you were with me. But I know when you left because quite sudde
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nly you were no longer there and I felt your absence keenly.”

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