Friday, June 09, 2006

Distractions in Lectio Divina

One of the most discouraging troubles one encounters when practicing Lectio Divina is the seeming inability to concentrate -- that one's mind, heart, and faculties burn with a longing for God yet seem inextricably tied to the things of this world. This is a problem all the saints experienced, some for decades. This is particularly a problem in any meditative or contemplative form of prayer, such as Lectio. Recognizing this, some practitioners advise:
When you meditate, do not be alarmed or discouraged if you initially experience a high degree of inner noise – fragments of conversations, TV shows, loud music, recollections of the previous day’s events – seemingly making a travesty of your desire to sit quietly...We are so unaccustomed to silence that its strangeness provokes a protective reaction of noise in our heads, to compensate for the threatening absence of sound. Stay calm, be patient and persevere. Simply focus on your chosen text, read it aloud softly if necessary, and go over it slowly several times. You will notice the inner noise begin to fade.
This is good advice about distractions that come during prayer in general.

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