Obstacles to overcome ...

In this reading, who wants to be the spiritual center of the assembly and of its growth, often in dialogue, not clerical, misses the dimension of listening and of personal effort of deepening.

Prayer often disappears to make room for analysis of situations.

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Such a reading risks remaining intellectual and sociological, incapable of possessing that efficacy which produces conversion and spiritual growth in Christ. In discussions, recourse to the Word of

God, especially in certain ethical texts of the Gospel, can only intervene by "collages" of biblical verses, which sound good because they are gathered together in a powerful literary genre of the "slogan" type, but which does not do not allow a global reading and therefore lead to a univocal interpretation of the words of the Lord.

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In meditation, as it is usually understood, not without a certain distortion of the intuition of Ignatius of Loyola, there is too much intellectualism and especially psychologism.

Unfortunately, it is too often a mental exercise having for object thoughts capable of giving rise to reflections and sensitive effects: outpourings, devotions, measured by the intensity of their heat. This typical devotio moderna meditation has the serious flaw of being anthropocentric and egocentric.

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To meditate is to read and reread, chew and murmur, ruminate and recite, fix in the mind and keep the Word in the heart, in order to arrive not at discussion (scholasticism), not at sensations (devotio moderna), but at prayer (oratio), contemplation and therefore action (opus Dei).

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In our way of approaching Scripture, we should not, in fact, seek the manifestation of this or that idea, or an increase in knowledge, but a commitment between God and us, between the One who speaks to us and us who let's listen to it; that is, we must approach to make an alliance.

Nicolas Cabasilas speaks of Scripture as the “representation of Christ”, and this means that, of itself, it makes Christ speak and commits us to satisfying our eyes and our hearts with his presence.

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This is the first and fundamental attitude for anyone preparing for Lectio Divina: to ask that the Spirit of God come to illuminate our whole being so that the encounter with the Lord is possible.

You have to read the text itself and contemplate it, then stop immediately afterwards, without engaging any faculties other than attention.

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There is no need to seek efficiency, emotion sensitive at the psychological level; that could make us fall into the technique, by bringing us back to the world and its seductions.

It is not a question of arriving at results fixed in advance, under penalty of remaining in the research

self-indulgent. To search means to analyze the text, to pay attention to the words, to the context. We certainly cannot ignore the fact that today we are greatly helped by biblical, literary and exegetical research ...

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Excerpts from "Praying the Word" by Enzo Bianchi

© Éditions Albin Michel, 2014

ISBN: 978-2-226-33609-5