- Is there a “Common Lectio divina” for couples?
These previous indications on “Common Lectio divina” apply also for couples: it helps them live their life as a couple under the light of the Lord, supporting each other, understanding each other, growing and helping each other in that growth. They will then actuate the Sacrament of Marriage everyday by taking time to find a “common ground”: the Word of God, the received light, agreed, with free will by both together.
The Sacrament doesn't end on the day of Marriage. It is an open Spring, capable of nourishing each member of the couple, and nourishing them together, in their choices, and their dialogue.
God wanted the power of two, that are different, but gathered “under the Name of God” to be the fulcrum of a New Divine Life (the life of the Children, their spiritual life as well). The quality of that fulcrum depends on the quality of the dialogue and the communion between the two of them.
The challenge of their differences, and the Grace of belonging to the same Faith, the God, the Same Grace, are two elements that one has to put together.
I would like really to stress on the difference between doing a “personal lectio divina”, and a “couple lectio divina”. They are both important and fruitful. I would think that if the “personal LD” is to be done everyday, the “couple LD” doesn't have to be done everyday (mostly for the lack of time and the priority, in general, of “Personal LD”). I tend to think that a “common LD” requires another type of effort that can tire or, worse, take the place of the “personal” one. The “personal Lectio divina” is and should remain the centre of gravity of the couple, because the progress of the couple relies on the progress of each other. It is true as well that they are a community, and much more than a community, they are : one flesh, one soul and one spirit. What one feels (as says saint Paul about Jesus' body) the other feels as well. If one suffers the other suffer, if one is happy, the other is happy. But one helps the other, by prayer and not only by word and by example. If one grows, the other is happy, and is “dragged” to a higher realm.
Let us remember the mission of the Couple, their finality: they are here for a work of fecundity, they are supposed, together, to bare fruits. Children are fruits, but not the only ones. They take their share in the Mission of the Church in expanding the kingdom of God. Therefore, it is not a selfish finality, the one of “couple lectio divina”, it has in its centre not only the spiritual life of the two members of the couple (and later their children's one), but the life of their Community and the life of the Church. Their prayer, their communion, capacity to agree, to converge, to help each other, is a very powerful lever in the Church and for the World.
It is very important as well to understand that the “personal lectio divina” of each member of the couple is not something too distant from the couple or from the dynamics of the couple. The “couple”, the family, is born in the heart of each one of its members. The more they are in tune with God, and grow spiritually, the more the couple is better, stronger, and can bare more fruits.
But this “sharing” (Common LD) what each one hears from God, for the Couple, is a different activity: it is situated on the level of the couple (and not the individual's journey) and its common search for the will of God.
God wants us to help each other, sacramentally, seeing in the other the image of Christ, or His Church to love, inspired by His Word.
It is true as well that husband and wife are not anymore two persons united, but one. They are one body, but also, one soul, one spirit. The Soul is what works essentially during Lectio divina, therefore, if they are one, it is normal for them to unite their faculties (Mind, Will, Freedom) in order to grow as one. Not only it is good not to stop the couple from doing lectio divina, but we should encourage the Couples to do lectio divina together. (One has still to remember their intellectual, spiritual and marian level.)
It is fundamental for the couple to open themselves, in front of each other, as a couple would do with his bodies, totally naked in front of each other. Loving the Truth more than themselves, praying for that primacy, knowing that the Truth frees the Couple and brings it to newer heights, every day.
As they are invited daily to actuate the Sacrament of Marriage in their common heart, through the Prayer of the heart, they are invited to actuate it in their common mind and common will, in order to grow in the quality of their Union (with each other) through the “couple lectio divina”.
(The cement of their union is God himself, who knows each one of them, and who is their guide and Pastor. The more each one gets closer to the union with God, the more they are united between each other.)
The closer their mind and will (not plural minds and wills but singular, they are united)) are, the more they realise the Plan of God on them, uniting them, and making them capable of baring much greater fruits.
(to be continued...)