- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Liturgical Press; Revised edition (1 Feb. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0814635059
- ISBN-13: 978-0814635056
- Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 12.4 x 1.5 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,349,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Lectio Matters: Before the Burning Bush (The Matters Series) Paperback – 1 Feb 2013
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About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Sister Mary Margaret's book is excellent. Besides describing the process, it combines Sister's personal life and everyday practice with the history and the theory of Lectio. Her choice of a text for this book is the Book of Jonah.
Sister suggests "sustained lectio." Often Lectio is seen as taking a text, meditating on it, praying about it and moving on to the next text. Her suggestion is that the reader take a text that they are attracted to for some reason and stay with the text for a longer period of days,weeks and maybe even months. The lectio she proposes also expands into art,music,talking with others about the text and many more opportunities to deepen the text.
This idea has helped me in my personal life and in my ministry of preaching and teaching. As I have reflected on it, it is somewhat arrogant to believe that one can sit down with a text and exhaust it in five minutes or a half hour. At the time I read the book, I was considering Romans 8, a rather complex chapter and one that I was not particularly fond of for a variety of reasons. I stayed with the text for two weeks and found more power in the text for my own life than if I would have taken my usual twenty minutes. THe longer period gave me deeper insight and often deepened my prayer for that day. Sister suggests staying with the text until you know it's time to move on.
Sister Mary Margaret is a member of a Benedictine Monastery in Indianapolis, Indiana. Her practice validates what she says in the book. She describes her practice very personnally. But some may wonder whether you can do what she says in a busy or too busy life. As a busy person myself I know that I will unlikely achieve the consistency or the amount of time I need to plunge into a text on an everyday basis. But the beauty of the method does not depend on being in a monastery. You do it as you are able to do it within the circumstances of your own life. Or as someone once said, "Pray as you can not as you can't. In my life sustained lectio will happen as it can happen. My reading of this book and my own chosen scripture text was yet another reminder of the power of the Scripture.
Lectio Matters is a fascinating presentation of the author's own experience with the Benedictine tradition of lectio divina, based on her extended immersion in the Book of Jonah. It is deeply impressive on many levels, not only underlining the element of discipline, discernment, and openness to grace which this practise requires, but unflinchingly honest in the author's presentation of her own distractions and struggles.
One element which I found especially praise-worthy is the utter honesty, including in relation to areas which must lead to criticism from other religious and a wider readership. For example, I applaud Sr Meg's total candour about how popular attitudes in psychology can be at odds with the gospel.
I would highly recommend Lectio Matters to all pursuing a life of prayer, though underlining that the concepts in previous works are important to fully understanding this one.