Perhaps you’ve connected to one of our videos or podcasts where we welcome you to join us in a Faith at Home Listening Practice. If you haven’t yet, you could listen to Faith at Home on your favorite podcast player or you could browse here. There are lots of episodes to explore.
Where do Listening Practices come from?
Our Listening Practices are a form of Lectio Divina (this means “divine reading” in Latin).
Listening Practices one of the tools in our toolbox for paying attention to what God might be saying to us. The are a way of paying attention to our lives and of deepening our sense of meaning and connection.
The pattern of a Listening Practice can include reading a scripture, a prayer or a poem up to four times. With pauses for reflection and sharing, a Listening Practice takes very little time, but brings big benefits.
Our Faith at Home Listening Practices have focused on just two readings of the Scripture text.
- In the first reading we listen for a idea or a phrase that stands out to us.
- In the second reading we pay attention for an invitation from the words that call us to do or be or become.
Why only two readings instead of four?
We wanted these Listening Practices to be something that you could include in your lunch break or on a walk. We want them to be something that you would feel comfortable sharing with your children or grandchildren.
We want them to be a practice that is like a little meal of nourishing food. And if you practice along with the Faith at Home Listening Practices, our hope is that you’ll eventually feel comfortable walking through the process with the people in your life, uncoached.
We’ve been reading the Psalms out loud almost daily to our children and to one another for almost ten years (since 2010). Reading scripture and asking what we notice and what we want to do about what we hear have helped us in so many ways.
Listening Practices (along with other bite-sized Spiritual Care Practices) have been a part of our spiritual, emotional and physical healing. They have changed our relationships with God, with one another, and with the world around us.
Listening Practices are a repeated process that helps us to calm our nervous systems. They help us to find threads of encouragement and direction for our daily experience.
Listening Practices are inclusive and can be done by people of any age or background. A Listening Practice requires no special abilities, except a willingness to engage in conversation with God and with another “safe” person.
Reade weekly joins a small group of men to practice Lectio Divina, work through an examen together and pray for one another. It’s a highlight of his week. They practice a pattern of 4 readings.
- A first reading to settle in to the space and to prepare for the experience. Often followed by silence.
- A second reading to pay attention for a word or a phrase that stands out. Often followed by silence.
- A third reading to listen for an invitation from the Divine from the text. Often followed by silence.
- A final reading to honour the gifts of the practice and let it seep more deeply into the spirit.
If you are looking for more information about Listening Practices or Lectio Divina, we’d love to hear from you. And we’d be delighted to hear about your own practices of listening to what the Divine is speaking to you today!
With gratitude for you,
Jennifer and Reade