The method is quite simple:
The first 3-5 minutes are taken to focus upon God. It is a time to quite the mind from the many things of the day ahead or distractions of the past to pray. Set aside the next half hour for the Lord.
Lectio, ‘reading’, means looking upon scripture with all of one’s will and mind. A passage of scripture is read aloud slowly. The goal is not completing a chapter or book, but to slowly read a few verses to listen to God. Read no more than 10 verses at a time.
Ruminatio, ‘chewing upon’, means to savor the text. Read these verses again, and then more, taking time to meditate upon them. As you go over them aloud slowly a few times, you allow God to speak to you through a passage. Visualize what you read, ponder certain phrases or words, and think about the context. It is often helpful to journal words the catch your attention, phrases that ‘stick out’, or things you may not understand.
Oratio, ‘dialogue with God’, means allowing time to ask God for guidance as you read a text. This becomes a conversation in which you ask God’s wisdom and direction in what He has shown you. You may ask why a certain phrase caught your attention, what a verse means, or what He is speaking to you.
Contemplatio, ‘contemplate or dwell’, means reflecting upon what has been revealed to you. This is a time to rest in what God has revealed and remain in a place of thanksgiving. It is often helpful to end with the Lord’s Prayer as way to bring this time to a close. However, the hope is that you continue to ruminate upon the text or phrase that ‘stuck out’ throughout the day. It serves as a way to keep God ever on your mind, as well as a way to remain in prayer.
Start with the Gospel reading this Sunday, John 2:13-22 and put this into practice in your life next week as another way to draw near to the Lord in prayer.
For further reading there is a brief and helpful article online here and here or
(http://www.fisheaters.com/lectiodivina.html and here http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/catholic/2000/08/how-to-practice-lectio-divina.aspx). Also, Christine Valters Paintner’s Lectio Divina, Contemplative Awakening and Awareness serves a great practical guide.