In the early part of 2014 I became aware that I was dissatisfied with some aspects of my life especially the part that was outwardly focused on achieving material success. I yearned for something that would be more enriching for my interior life so I began to look for other ways of making meaning that would challenge my usual modus operandi and maybe change my way of being in the world.

So I embarked on a spiritual quest via the computer as one does in today’s world! Using Google to search for terms such as Spirituality and Melbourne I pretty soon found an entry for The Carmelite Centre in Middle Park Melbourne. On the Carmelite Website I found a term Lectio Divina which I hadn’t encountered before, so being curious I scrolled down and opened up the term.  I found that Lectio Divina is a form of meditation on Scripture with discussion. This immediately appealed to me as I had my own daily meditation practice and I felt it might add another level of enrichment to my quest for meaning. A different appeal for me was that it sounded a bit like a book club but with a spiritual focus and that felt right for me because of where I was at in my life.

Following this I decided to take myself along to a Friday morning Lectio and see whether or not it was for me. What I found was a small group of people who met for one hour to read a Scripture narrative and then meditate on a word or phrase from that reading. This was followed by a discussion about the way they experienced it and how it spoke to their day to day lives. A Carmelite priest/brother contextualised the Scripture narrative in a way that related to contemporary life. This was refreshing and invaluable as it really helped me to get a richer and deeper understanding of each narrative and it grounded the importance of these to my actual life at this time.

Needless to say after the first Lectio I became aware that the process stayed with me, especially the principal messages of the Scripture, and I became mindful of them in my day to day life. Reflections also emerged in my daily meditation practice that made me realise that it was a very powerful process for living my life differently. So for me Lectio is both an intellectual experience and an embodied experience that surfaces in my day to day life in different ways and offers me a more profound meaning than just the material world.

I feel I have travelled a long way since my first Lectio Divina in 2014 and not surprisingly I now have a richer and more satisfying interior life which has been deepened by taking part in Lectio.  If you are someone like me who is searching for a more meaningful life think about coming along to Lectio Divina and checking it out  for yourself. You may be really surprised at what treasures you will discover.

by Finbar