Thursday, November 12, 2009

Teach me to pray ~ Lectio Divina ~ St. Paul's Conversion Story and Mark's Gospel 13

Lectio Divina is Latin for divine reading, spiritual reading, or "holy reading," and represents a traditional Christian practice of prayer and scriptural reading intended to promote communion with God and to increase in the knowledge of God’s Word. It is a way of praying with scripture that calls one to study, ponder, listen and, finally, pray and even sing and rejoice from God's Word, within the soul.

I am kinda envious of the definition you just read because I didn’t write it!  I love the final line, “Pray and even sing & rejoice from God’s Word within the soul.”  

Ah man…

I pray I will sing and rejoice from God’s Word within my soul always.


Lots of Scripture in this post!  Pray Lectio Divina and meet me at the end.  I see so many similarities in Saul’s conversion story and Mark’s Gospel.  

Here's my approach to Scripture in my prayer.  It starts the minute I hear the 'subject,' if you will, of the passage:

I bring to mind God is Love & Teach me to pray. 
I introduced this on September 6th as "Teach me to Pray."

How do I remember the passage?
Again, "Teach me to Pray" under one of the many tangents!

How am I feeling right now?
Just this week when I brought The Zebedee Boys to prayer.

I hold onto Jesus' encouraging words, 

"The kingdom of heaven is among you"
within you...


Are there questions asked in the passage? 
Remember the prayer "Teach me to pray ~ exodus prep?"

Alright...alrightalright.  Let's go!

Sit back.
Feel our hearts beat.
Be aware of our breath.

As (Saul) neared Damascus on his journey, 
suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 
He fell to the ground and 
heard a voice say to him, 

"Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"

"Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked.

"I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. 
"Now get up and go into the city, 
and you will be told what you must do."

The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; 
they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 
Saul got up from the ground, 
but when he open ed his eyes he could see nothing. 
So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 
For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. 
The Lord called to him in a vision, 

"Yes, Lord," he answered.

The Lord told him, 
"Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street 
and ask for a man from 
Tarsus named Saul, 
for he is praying. 
In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come
 and place his hands on him to restore his sight."

"Lord," Ananias answered, 
"I have heard many reports about this man
 and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. 
And he has come here with authority
 from the chief priests to arrest 
all who call on your name."

But the Lord said to Ananias, 

This man is my chosen instrument
 to carry my name before 
the Gentiles and their kings 
and before the people of Israel. 
I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."

Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. 
Placing his hands on Saul, 
he said, 
"Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, 
who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—
has sent me so that you may see again
 and be filled with the Holy Spirit."
 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, 
and he could see again. 
He got up and was baptized, 
and after taking some food, 
he regained his strength.

~ Acts of the Apostles 9:3-19


Let's take a minute to let this rest with us...
The next part might prove to be a challenge...

I already brought to you the passage:  Mark's Gospel 13.  It's about The Son of Man's second coming.

Bring to mind God is Love & Teach me to pray. 
How do I remember the passage? 
How am I feeling right now? 
I hold onto Jesus' encouraging words, "The kingdom of heaven is among you...within you...RIGHT NOW...
Are there questions asked in the passage? 

Take a walk and come back...


Sit back.
Let's feel our hearts beat.
Become more aware of our breathing...
Marry our heart beats with our breath...

Jesus said to his disciples:
"In those days after that tribulation
the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light,
and the stars will be falling from the sky,
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

"And then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in the clouds'
with great power and glory,
and then he will send out the angels
and gather his elect from the four winds,
from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.

"Learn a lesson from the fig tree.
When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves,
you know that summer is near.
In the same way, when you see these things happening,
know that he is near, at the gates.
Amen, I say to you,
this generation will not pass away
until all these things have taken place.
Heaven and earth will pass away,
but my
words will not pass away.

"But of that day or hour, no one knows,
neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

~ Mark 13: 24-32

What do you think?  How are you hearing these passages?  How are you feeling right now?  Is the similarities between these passages as strong for you as for me?  Ready to talk about it?  

Let's pray...
In Emmanuel...Have I experienced "The Second Coming of Man?"

Quite frankly...YES!  a resounding YES!  

   ...e v e r y   t i m e   I   p r a y...
  THAT is a little dramatic, wouldn't you say?  ah man...
  to qualify: every time I feel Emmanuel when I pray
  every time Emmanuel helps my attitude
       evolve more into God is Love.
  every time my behavior reflects God is Love.

I cry.


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