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Lectio Divina Reading

March 16, 2006

Excerpts form Macrina Wiederkehr,  “Behold Your Life”

Day 9

In my weakness I discover my strength.

Read 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

What do you think you learned in the womb??  Ponder the wisdom of the womb.  Is there anything you unconsciously learned in the womb that you need to relearn?

“Jesus, I embrace those very early months of my life today.  I embrace them with the same reverence that you embrace my poverty and littleness.  Restore the poverty of my childhood so that once again I can rest trustingly in the shadow of your wings, waiting to be fed, expecting to be fed, and crying out to you in my need.  Through the power of your own emptiness, Jesus, heal me of any unnecessary scars left over from the poverty of my childhood.  Let me taste the richness of that poverty once again.  Amen.”

Day 10

Covering his feet with kisses she anointed them with her love and ointment.

Read Luke 7:36-38

“Try to envision the people who might have held you when you were a baby.  Touch is essential for wholesome living and growth.  When touch is healthy it is a sacrament of God’s presence.  Let this be a day to focus on the gift of human touch.  Be conscious of all that you touch today whether it be people or things.  Practice awareness.  Hold all things as though they were sacred vessels.”

“Jesus when you pitched your tent with us on earth, your healing touch brought many folks back to life.  In memory of this touch of yours I beg you to hold close to your heart all those whose touch has enabled me to come through the scars of childhood feeling anointed and loved.  I give thanks for Mary Magdalene in your life.  Her anointing touch, her hands and hair and tears upon your feet must have helped to heal the ached of loneliness that you, who took on our human flesh, understand so well.  Amen.”

Day 11

“You Journey through the desert led by your God.  When you become hungry God feeds you with manna.”

Read Deuteronomy 8:1-6

“What memories of hunger, unfulfilled needs, or neglect are stored in your heart?  This is a day to focus on unmet needs.  Reflecting on these instances of neglect is not to grovel in them but rather to embrace them as part of your history. This can also be a way of checking to se if there is anything you need to forgive.  Is there a connection between the hungers you feel today and the hungers you remember from the past?”

“Jesus I willingly hand over to you the hungers that linger in my heart.  Dress the wounds of my childhood with your glance of life.  May that glance be the manna that satisfies my hunger.  As I list my deepest hungers in my journal I ask you to listen to the cries of my heart and feed me with the food I most need at this time in my life.  Thank you for the hungers in my life that have encouraged me to go deeper and explore my inner life.  Thank you for the hungers that have drawn me into your heart. Amen”

Day 12

“The One guiding you leads you into a country fruitful and promising. Yu are standing on the edge of a good land.  Be grateful and never forget your guide.”

Read Deuteronomy 8:7-12

“The introduction to this retreat stressed that throughout our lives we have been both bitten and blessed.  Today will be a day to reflect on the blessings.  This is a day of beauty.  Celebrate your awareness of beauty.  Spend as much time with beautiful things as you can fit into your schedule.  Walk through this day with eyes wide open.  Beauty is healing.  Expect good things.”

“Loving God, my presence on this earth is like a long Transfiguration.   You have brought me to this mountain of glory to show me your face.  At times, like Peter, I want to stay here forever, but I’m slowly beginning to realize that I’m only a pilgrim on earth.  Each moment has its special nourishment.  I breathe it in-then let it go.  My life is richer for each moment of glory that I’ve tested.  I am grateful for all these moments of beauty with which you have blessed me throughout my life. Amen.”

Day 13

“Let your heart be sincere.  Be steadfast.  Don’t fall apart when disaster comes.”

Read Sirach 2:1-18

“On this day of your retreat I want you to reflect on your first memories of life outside your family home-early memories of classroom days. Recall teachers and classmates. As each child or teacher stands before you, behold them briefly and then put each one into the heart of God.  Wherever they may be today, ask that God’s compassion and live follow them through life.  You may recall someone you would like to contact.  Write them a letter and tell them of your memories.”

“God of my early childhood, help me to live with the fact that life doesn’t always come out even.  I place in my heart and in yours all the people of my early childhood who come to my mind as having been unfair to me.  I embrace also those who may have suffered some injustice because of me.  Holding these people in my heart where you have made your home is the best way I know to pray for them.  I pray, too, for those whose kindness I remember.  Bless them with your loving kindness now.  May it follow them throughout their lives. Amen.”

Day 14

“Take one another’s interests into your heart and give them a home.”

Read Philippians 2:1-11

Our theme for today is Belonging.  Deep in our souls lives an ache-a longing to belong.  We want to belong to a faith community, a family, a club, a team!  We long for someone to hold our interests in their hearts.  And we, too, want to reach out with loving attention to others.  Each of us needs some special person in our lives-someone we can call friend.  What are your early childhood memories of belonging?  Where and with whom did you feel at home?  What is your experience of belonging at this time in your life? Meditate today on your need to belong. How has this longing been fulfilled for you?  Consider sending a card of gratitude to some of the people who have taken your interests into their hearts.

“Loving God, turn a caring eye toward all people who have been left out of the circle of love.  Protect those who have been reflected and excluded.  Send caring people into their lives that they may discover their beauty and goodness. Thank you for the loving people who have been gifts in my life, those who have treated me with respect and kindness and helped me to believe in my worth,,  If there is anyone I have ever shut out of the circle of my lv9e, send someone to them to remedy the harm I may have done.  And for those times when I have felt excluded, I forgive to the extent I am able.  By the help of your grace supply any forgiveness that is lacking in my life.  Amen.”

Day 15

“Fill your mind with all that is joyful, all that is noble, authentic and beautiful.  Then God’s peace will stand guard at the doorway of your heart.”

Read Philippians 4:4-9

 “Use this day as a time to review the happiness of childhood.  No matter what our painful stories might be, surely there are blessings to be remembered.  Can you recall one of the joyful, authentic, and beautiful gifts of your early years?  Make an effort to remember the good times.  Who are the friends and mentors that linger in your thoughts today?  Look upon this early period in your life as a school of learning.  Which experiences stand out in your memory?  Have some of the blessings, of childhood followed you into your adult life?  Let good memories surround you and bless you today.”

“Loving God, help me never to ignore my feelings but to accept the blessings they can bring.  You have filled my life to the brim.  Today with eyes of the child who still lives within me, I look upon all that has blessed me:  the people, the new knowledge, the sense of being nurtured, the deep feelings of sorrow and joy, the wonder of nature, the seasons that have passed over our land and the seasons of the land of my heart.  Thank you for your constant presence in my growing fields.  Restore in me the heart of a child as I continue growing up. Amen.”

Day 16

“Be my guide and teacher.  Lead me on the path of truth, for you are a God who loves me.”


`To You, O Love, lift my soul;

O Heart within my heart,

In you I place my trust.

Let me not feel unworthy;

Let not fear rule over me.

Yes! Let all who open their hearts

Savor You and bless the earth!

Compel me to know your ways, O Love;

Instruct me upon your paths.

Lead me in your truth,

And teach me,

For through You will I know wholeness;

I shall reflect your light

Both day and night.

I know of your mercy, Compassionate One,

And of your steadfast love.

You have been with me from the beginning.

Forgive the many times I have walked away from You

Choosing to walk alone.

With your steadfast love,

Once again,

Companion me along your way.

You are gracious and just,

O Spirit of Truth,

Happy to guide those who miss their way;

You enjoy teaching all who are open,

All who choose to live in truth.  Your paths are loving and sure,

O Holy One,

For those who give witness to You

through their lives.

For the honor of your name,

O Beloved,

Forgive my separation from You.

I bow down before You;

Instruct me, that I might choose the way of love and truth.

I would live in your abundance,

And my children as well.

Your friendship is offered to all

Whose hearts are open;

You will make known your promises to them.

My eyes are ever on You, Beloved,

Keep my feet from stumbling along the way.

Turn to me, O Holy One, and envelop me

With your love, for

I am lonely and oppressed.

Relive the blocks in my heart

That keep me separated from You;

See all the darkness within me;

Fill it with your healing lift.

Look at my pain and all my fears;

They shut out love and life.

Protect me and free me;

Let me not live as unworthy,

For I would make my home in You.

May integrity and wholeness fill me

As I swell with You,

O Loving Presence.

O Beloved, as you renew me,

Redeem the nations,

That we on earth may unfold

Your Plan.

“Use this day as a time to review your early memories of sexuality.  Not all families handle sexual issues well.  Young people often suffer on this mysterious and beautiful path.  Today then would be a time to recall early sexual experiences and bless them as apart of your school of learning.  If there are things you need to express or share with someone, begin by writing your feelings in your journal.”

“Jesus as I bring to mind this vulnerable time in my life, allow me to experience your abiding presence in the midst of the turmoil.  Now in my adult life I begin to see my sexuality as a sacrament of love and vibrant energy, a gift from God. Bless the people I may have hurt in past years because of my insecurity, immaturity, or insensitivity.  Heal me from all the ways I’ve suffered from lack of adequate sex education.  Help me to grow fully into a healthy and alive sexual being.  For any sexual abuse that I may have received or given, I ask for your healing and forgiveness. Amen.”

Lectio Divina for CP Groups
Contemplative Outreach of Dallas

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