The Theme for October is “Belonging”

“A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don’t function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick.” — Brene  Brown


Language, identity, place, home: these are all of a piece – just different elements of belonging and not-belonging.”

— Jhumpa Lahiri


“The really wonderful thing that happened to me when I was in space was this feeling of belonging to the entire universe.”

— Mae Jemison


“By building relations we create a source of love and personal pride and belonging that makes living in a chaotic world easier.”

— Susan Lieberman

Lectio Divina is Latin for “divine reading” and Christian monks have used this practice for centuries to gain a deeper understanding of the Bible and other writings that are important to them. We are not Christian monks, so the practice does not hold the same meaning for us as it does to them. Yet, we can still gain some insight from this practice.

Lectio Divina has four stages or moments. They are lectio, meditatio, oratio and contemplatio.

In the first moment, lectio, you should just sit and read and re-read the text. Do this slowly and pay close attention to the meaning of each word and the meaning of the whole sentence and passage.

Keep reading it until a word or short phrase (no more than 3 or 4 words) catches your attention. Once this has happened, you have entered the second moment called meditatio.

Stay with these words and think about them deeply. What do they mean in the context of your life? What do they say that could teach you something new or more profound about yourself? Spend some time in this moment and just be with these words.

Then it is time to enter the third moment which is oratio. In this moment open your heart up to whatever you feel connects you to the rest of the Universe: God or Goddess, Nature, the Spirit of Life, love for all humankind. In that space, ask yourself what these words are calling you to do. How are you different because you have read these words? Again spend some time in this moment.

The last moment, contemplatio, is kind of a release and celebration. Christian monks think about it in terms of basking in the love of God and the pleasure of deeper understanding. This should be a relaxing moment, taking the time to just feel rather than think.

When you enter into this spiritual practice, try to spend three or four minutes in each moment.”

As you come out of contemplation and prepare to resume your normal activities, consider what difference this text will make in how you act in this world?
What challenges does it pose? What are you called to do?