Lectio Divina

A New Spiritual Springtime
               
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For many years Cardinal Martini taught young people in Milan to read the Scriptures for themselves and to meditate and pray with them. Here is an example. He read with them the story of the raising to life of the son of the widow of Nain. Then he asked them to reflect on the story. He drew their attention to one sentence: ‘Young man, I tell you: get up.’ He pointed out that Jesus says three things in that one sentence, and that each one deserves our full attention.

‘Young man:’ Jesus addresses him first as one among the young people of his time – he belongs to a particular family in a particular cultural and religious community. Young people are conscious of belonging among their peers.

‘I tell you:’ Jesus speaks to him as a unique person. What Jesus has to say now is directly for him and for him alone, and he knows that Jesus recognises and values him for who he is. He is not one of a crowd but a person with his own identity.

‘Get up:’ Jesus tells him to get on his feet, to live his life to its fullest potential. Martini helps the young people to hear Jesus now addressing these words directly to each of themselves, to ponder them, to find encouragement and inspiration in them, and to respond to Jesus in prayer.

This is lectio divina: reading the Scriptures, pondering them until they become like a mirror in which we see ourselves, our lives and our world reflected, and then responding to God in prayer. 

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