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Core Spiritual Practices
For your convenience, below you will find a short summary of the two spiritual practices that you were taught on your first retreat. These practices are core to the Lay Mission Project’s formation curriculum, and their integration into your regular spiritual discipline is highly encouraged.
Seeing with Jesus
In this video, Fr. Michael introduces a spiritual practice that assists Christians in becoming more attentive to our Lord’s presence in the world. Because we believe that our Lord acts in the World through us, members of his Body (the Church), we are called to see things as our Lord sees them, to make right judgement based on this sight, and to act accordingly. When we become more aware of the reality of Jesus’ true presence, our hearts are nourished, and our will is fortified to be more Christ-like: loving, merciful, compassionate, at peace, and possessing a humble authority that is strong and life-giving.
In this video, Fr. Michael introduces Lectio Divina, or “divine reading” – a traditional method of prayer that helps us encounter our Lord in Scripture. There are many ways to practice this prayer style, but this video offers one way that’s specifically for the average busy lay-person. Here are the steps:
- READ OUT LOUD
After choosing a scripture reading, perhaps the Gospel of the day, and read it out loud. Once you finish it, start again. (this step is traditionally called lectio)
Repeatedly read the whole passage until one word or phrase begins to stand out. Then focus on that part alone, and repeat it out loud until it’s committed to memory. It is important to avoid questioning or judging why it sticks out, simply accept it as the Word that is being spoken to you. (this step is traditionally called meditatio)
After a while, all other thoughts begin to go away and your left with the Word alone: your recitation becomes a mantra-prayer, and you receive the words as our Lord speaking to you. (this step is traditionally called oratio)
- BE STILL
When you feel it to be appropriate, simply sit with our Lord in silence. When you sense that the prayer is coming to an end, simply thank the Lord, and move on with your day, holding his Word in your heart. (this step is traditionally called contemplatio)