Fr. Jacques Philippe

Fr. Jacques Philippe

a guide for the spiritual life

Lectio Divina

[Lectio Divina] is meditative reading of the Scriptures done with simplicity, prayer, and faith, with a goal of hearing what the Lord wants to say to one today in order to be enlightened and transformed by it.
- Called to Life, p.110

Meditation on Scripture is the foundation of any authentic Christian prayer life. God speaks to us and awakens a response from us through meditation. Here is how dialogue in prayer begins.
Called to Life, p.35

The more prayer is nourished by Scripture, the more it will be authentic and fruitful, at once fully human and yet capable of placing us in communion with the incomprehensible divine mystery. With Scripture in one’s memory and heart, it becomes possible to respond to the mandate to “Pray constantly!” (1 Thess 5:17).
Called to Life, 36

The reading must be done in the context of prayer. Only the Holy Spirit can open to us the profound, living sense of Scripture. Humble, persevering, confident prayer is the basis of all exegesis.
Called to Life, p.52

Although it is important that Scripture speak to each of us personally, the reading of the Word of God should not become individualistic. What we think we have discovered there must be tested by the teaching of the Church and received in communion with all those who, with us, make up the body of Christ.
Called to Life, p.55

Much of the advice that applies to prayer applies also to lectio divina: the importance of perseverance, accepting arid periods, the fundamental role of faith and hope, etc. Indeed, lectio divina is the most ancient, most universal, and most practiced of all the “methods of prayer.”
Called to Life, p.111

When interpreting Scripture, sages of rabbinic tradition love to make the richness of the texts leap out by “stringing necklaces.” The pearls are verses from different parts of Scripture—the Torah, the Prophets, the Psalms, and wisdom writings. Jesus did the same after the Resurrection for the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Lk 24:27 and 24:44). This tradition of drawing together different texts that shed light on one another was followed by the Fathers of the Church and is practiced by spiritual writers up to this day.
Called to Life, 113

“Meditate,” in the biblical tradition, signifies not so much reflecting as repeating and ruminating. It is more physical than intellectual at first. Do not hesitate to repeat a passage many times, since this often is how what God wishes to say by it today will emerge.
Called to Life, p.115

What is crucial in this enterprise is not how much one knows but the attitude of one’s heart—an attitude of thirst for God, confidence that he wants to speak to one, and a great desire for conversion. Here is the great secret of lectio.
Called to Life, p.110

Called to Life
In the School of the Holy Spirit
Time for God
Interior Freedom
The Way of Trust and Love