Throughout its journey, the Church, following in the footsteps of the people of Israel, has listened to the Word of God and has learned to read it in different contexts in order to discover God’s will for each historic moment. This long process of apprenticeship has crystallized in a form of reading the Word which was very early on (from the early 3rd century) called Lectio divina.
With the birth of monasticism, LD became the privileged way of spirituality. It became systematized among the monks. A 12th-century Carthusian left us the stages of this way of reading the Word, which nourished the faith of whole generations of Christians until the 14th century, when the disputes of late Scholasticism opened the way to other, more introspective, kinds of prayer (mental prayer, Ignatian meditation…). Vatican II proposed LD as a privileged form of continual and prayerful contact with Sacred Scripture (DV 25), not only for priests (PO 18) or religious (PC 6), but for all the laity (AA 4). Our congregation also recommends its practice (SW 21.2).