We are called to a healing work for the world – to heal and mend our human relationships and our relationship to the earth. Our call to heal the world can lead to burnout if it is not rooted in a contemplative tradition that restores us and reminds us of that which is deepest within us – the original goodness that God created us for. These are some practices that I have found helpful and hope you do as well.
Lectio Divina is an ancient spiritual practice from the Christian monastic tradition. Its title derives from the Latin words meaning reading and divine (a divine reading). In Lectio Divina, we seek to experience the presence of God through reading and listening, meditation, prayer, and contemplation. Lectio Divina can be practiced both by individuals and in groups.
For a simple guide on the practice of Lectio Divina click here.
For a historical understanding of the practice of Lectio Divina click here to read a paper Matt Krick wrote on Lectio Divina.
An awareness walk is practicing Lectio Divina wherever you find yourself. The idea is to be fully present to God—aware of God’s presence within you and all around you—being aware of how God is speaking to you through all things; specifically, creation. Click here for an Awareness Walk guide.
GREAT APPS / WEBSITES FOR CONTEMPLATIVE PRACTICES
This is a fantastic resource! You can use their website or download their app to your phone. They have a daily prayer you can listen to whether at home, in the car or wherever you find yourself. Each prayer includes scripture reflection and great questions to consider. Pray-as-you-go also has plenty of other prayers and resources. One of my favorites is the different Examen prayers they offer. We do the “Examen for Children” with our kids on a regular basis. Here is the website and here is the App and the Android app here.
PRAYER OF EXAMEN
The Examen is a practice of prayerful reflection on the events of the day helping us identify God’s presence and discern God’s direction for us. The Examen is an ancient practice in the Church that can help us see God’s movement in our everyday lives. Beyond the Examen prayers offered by Pray-as-you-go, click here for a guide to practicing the Prayer of Examen.
This app / website offers a guided reflection each day. It is a great way to center yourself as you enter the day or if you have a break during the day it provides an opportunity for a reflective experience to re-center you on God. Click here for the website and here for the App and the Android app here.
THE DAILY OFFICE
The daily office is an ancient Christian practice that arises out of the desire to pray and reflect on scripture regularly. Something beautiful about the daily office is recognizing that as you work your way through it, you are joining millions of Christians around the world who are focused on the same prayers and same scripture texts as you are. You are literally joining with the global church as you pray. A great way to engage The Daily Office is through the website provided by Mission St. Clare here and the iOS App here and the Android app here.