Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Couples "lost in translation" 3

between “Personal Lectio Divina” & “Common Lectio Divina


We had the practise of sharing the Gospel first, in the 60s and 70s, much before the renewal of Lectio Divina as a personal practise. Some priests promote a "church" or "community lectio divina" as the only form of lectio divina...!! Just to show the actual "confusion"...

Both exercises are important, but nobody will stop me from showing the "personal lectio divina". We always pray "in the church" even when we are alone. The Church starts in our heart, not outside of it. But nobody can deter us from listening to Christ. He comes in the Church, during the "Proclamation of the Word", and speaks to us, but in fact first of all, and fundamentally, He is speaking to each human being in his heart. The community doesn't have a heart, each member has a heart. The encounter of real hearts, alive, might create a "heart" for the community, but not the opposite. The walls of the Church are composed of bricks, and without the single bricks, there is no wall. The Person is the Corner stone of the Church... we are not Communists. Vatican the second explains that aspect, in Gaudium et Spes 16.

Notes on Couple lectio divina

The challenge is to ensure the supernatural mechanism of « Couple lectio divina ». Otherwise lectio divina done by the couple can become an intellectual, theological, exercise, nothing more, where often, one or each will exercise his « power » against the other (by pressurising him/her), thinking that in doing so, he/she is doing right.

The supernatural work of the Holy Spirit through a Word that God sends to the couple (as one) requires a common strong disposition, and a common just balance between the two members (this is a challenge), capacity to hear, listen to God that speaks through the partner. Lectio divina will be one of the best moments to open, in prayer and with a common prayer to the Holy Spirit, to listen to God that speaks sacramentally through the other.
This is a marvellous actuation of the Sacrament. Any sacrament has two dimension, two layers: a physical layer, and a deeper divine layer. This is why it is called “sacrament”. Like the stained-glass, one has the glass and the light that passes through. For the sacrament of Marriage, the man and his wife are sacraments of Jesus and the Church, as stated in the Holy Scriptures by saint Paul and by saint Peter. So we have here the two layers: the man, and the woman are the “material” layer. Jesus and the Church are the Divine Layer.
To “actuate the sacrament” is to make it work, to allow all the supernatural power enclosed in it to be activated, each day, the measure of each day, and not less. This comes by giving full attention, through the material aspect (the life and presence of the man and his wife) to the divine layer that is constantly there. The risk in each sacrament is to forget the deeper layer, therefore the sacrament remains inefficient. Any sacrament.
One of the most two important acts in order to enact the Sacrament is to see and to listen. These two spiritual senses are fundamental for us in order to receive the Grâce of God daily. To see through my husband or my wife, by the help of the Holy Spirit, as we see through the holy Scriptures, the living and powerful Words of Jesus. There shouldn't be any contradiction between the layers, but they are still two layers. Like the letter and the spirit in a text of the Scriptures, they are different layers, but not opposed, or in contradiction, or dislocated, without links (that would be to see things in a text that the text doesn't say or doesn't allude to, or contort the text in order to get a different subject or sense, or application).
Listening to Jesus is through my husband of wife, and “through” (the sacramental operation) is not an abstract seeing, or listening. There are criteria for discernment for this listening, as for the “spiritual senses of the Scriptures” in their relationship with the letter of the text.

By asking the help of the Holy Spirit, He comes and helps us see through, with respect and attention to God. By asking the help of the Holy Spirit, we can listen to what Jesus is telling us by our partner.

Couple Lectio divia, this common attention to the word of God from two wills, united in one prayer, is a great moment of Grace for them and for the Church and for the world. Because this is Peace on earth, this is real progress, when two on earth succeed in agreeing, in seeking the will of God and receiving it. It is so powerful that, like the payer of the Monks, it allows the earth to make its “revolutions”.
(to be continued...)

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