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Lectio Intima

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Lovers Reading Brian T. Kershisnik ©2017 Used with Permission

Lovers Reading by Brian T. Kershisnik ©2017 Used with Permission

There is perhaps nothing that so fundamentally realigns your understanding of another person as to see and hear them engaged with the Holy . . .

As you probably know, Lectio divina (sacred reading) has been practiced monastically for untold centuries and is a profoundly flexible way of connecting with a sacred text, being read by the text and then led into quiet compassionate communion. It is a practice of letting go, of surrendering attachment to what we think we know in order to discover life at deeper levels. Letting go is fundamental to this tradition, because lectio divina is concerned not with instilling doctrine or dogma from the text but with experiencing the I-Thou relationship of lover and beloved. You read the text aloud, and as you do you listen for a word or phrase within a text that strikes a chord—and then you ruminate on and respond to that word, allowing unconscious associations to rise to consciousness so that they can be integrated, healed, transformed. What you probably didn’t know is that lectio divina can also be practiced by couples, and I have discovered through my research that it can open up whole new arenas of intimacy—hence the name, lectio intima. When two people experience the same text and discover …

David Thornton, D. Min., is an integrative pastoral therapist in Nashville, Tennessee. For a schedule of his retreats and work-shops, write him at [email protected]


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