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Scripture Study

Scripture Study

scriptureAdult Faith Formation Scripture Programs are offered on Monday Evenings 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm and Wednesday Mornings 9:30 am to 11:30 am. Catholic Study Programs used are based on the preference of the group members and may vary. This year the scripture study group will be using the Little Rock Scripture Study on the Book of Mark. Join us as we reflect and pray with scripture.


Lectio Divina

Friday mornings from 9:30 am to 10:30am in the John Bosco Center, room 2, we meet to pray with the following Sunday Gospel. We have adapted Lectio Divina for a group, modifying the structure to provide time for reflection, discussion and prayer. One does not need to be an expert or experienced to participate. Participants come after the 8:30 Mass and spend time chatting before we start. We use Renew International PrayerTime: Faith-Sharing Reflections on the Sunday Gospel as a resource.
Lectio Divina is an ancient form of prayer used with scripture or holy reading. Lectio Divina or Divine Reading was used as an individual prayer form by the desert fathers and was also used in monasteries. They were not the first to use this approach, and I daresay that the reason the prayer style continues to be used is because it enhances one's relationship with God. As St. Jerome reminds us "Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ". Through Lectio Divina we see how the scripture is as relevant today as it was in the time of Christ.

There are several steps to Lectio Divina. One always starts and ends with prayer. The steps we use are Lectio, Meditatio, Contemplatio, and Oratio. Below is the format that the group uses.

Lectio Divina adapted for group use at Espiritu Santo Catholic Church:
Come Holy Spirit, Enlighten my mind while I read scripture today. Help me to understand any difficult passages. Show me how what I read applies to my life. Give me the willingness to welcome the Word that I read into my heart and obey it.

LECTIO: Listening with the ear of our heart - First reading of the selected passage slowly and reverently without rushing

Let the words of the Scripture that will be read resound in your heart. Be attentive to the Lord speaking to you personally. After a few moments of silence recall which word, which action, or detail remains with you more vividly and meaningfuly. Say inwardly:

"Thank you Lord for bringing this to my awareness. Your Word is alive for me"

*Share with the group one word, or those few words, or that one action that caught your attention. Share this without comment or background of why it came to you. Simply state it and let another person do the same.

*Brief sharing of what caught one's attention. After a brief silence when it is obvious that all who want to share have shared, go on to Meditatio.

MEDITATIO: Ponder on His Word- Second reading of the same passage slowly, attentively and reverently without rushing.

Allow what surfaced in Lectio to be like a door that opens you deeper to discover personal insights in the Word of God. Ask for the grace to see new connections in the Word of God within the context of your own life. Meditation is like mulling the Word over in your mind so that it begins to descend into your heart, and causes you to reflect about your own life. Share your reflection with the others in the group. As each person shares this may open more insights and this will contribute to a discussion among us.

Everyone will have an opportunity to share if they wish and join the discussion, please allow everyone to share before speaking a second time. No one is required to share.

CONTEMPLATIO: Resting in His Presence - Third reading - commentary or reflection on same passage – using PrayerTime. We have used as the 3rd reading a reflection from PrayerTime. The group finds this approach useful as it deepens our understanding.

This is a time of complete silence. A silence of fullness as one is present to the Lord and surrenders to the silence without effort. Simply rest in God's presence very much like a little child desires to be embraced by mother or father. Closing one's eyes can be of help, so that one can gaze inwardly on the heart and be present. Allow what has transpired thus far in Lectio and Mediation to echo in your heart.

"Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46

ORATIO: Conversation with God - Fourth reading of the same passage slowly, attentively and reverently without rushing. A time of silence to allow each participant to speak directly to the Lord. All is addressed personally to the Lord with no group discussion.

Oratio is speaking directly to the Lord. Use the personal pronoun "You" in speaking directly to Jesus, the Father, or the Holy Spirit. Offer: Praise, thanksgiving, petition. There may be more silence within this stage because the words come more from your heart. Silence aids in finding the words to address the Lord. The spoken prayer can be very short, or it can extend to several sentences but it should not be overly long. You may desire to pray again after others pray.

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

The group remains silent for a time – possibly about 5 minutes or so.

Each person may share a short prayer, a word, a concern ,or a question as prayer. Please do not start a discussion with each other during prayer.

The group ends praying the St. Francis Prayer, Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory Be together.

This format can be used at home, alone or with a group. All are welcome to join us Friday morning. Check bulletin for schedule changes, we usually meet weekly during the fall/winter months and switch to monthly during the summer. 

Volunteer Position    

Volunteer opportunities include welcoming participants, setting out materials for use during group, keeping track of attendance and coordinating snacks for fellowship.

Required of the Volunteer   Preparation for the session by reading materials beforehand.
Experience Necessary   Helpful but not necessary.
Training Required   2 hour class for those who wish to facilitate.
When is Training   Scheduled as needed.
Time Commitment   2 hours weekly plus 1 hour prep time.
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