Skip to main content

The primary impulse of Lectio Divina

Jean Khoury

The primary impulse of Lectio Divina is to introduce us into a relationship of divine friendship with the Lord, to allow him to speak to us and to (progressively) tell us all things: "No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his lord does. But I have called you friends, for everything that I heard from my Father,

I have made known to you" (Jn 15:15). Telling everything to another person truly is a sign of love. "(...) the Father loves the Son, and shows to him all what he himself is doing" (Jn 5:20a). lectio Divina is the eminent place where Christ-God will be able to speak to us, today, and tell us what he wants us to do. He will explain it to us: "and beginning from Moses, and from all the prophets, he explained to them in all the Scriptures the things about himself" (Lk 24:27).

It is impossible to assert that one should live by blind faith alone, opposing it to the understanding we get from the Word of God. Faith finds its sustenance in God's Word. If this Word is absent, faith becomes very meagre. Conversely, the Word of God, above all else, can fortify it. Faith is, firstly, the belief in a word that has been given. God speaks every day, he wants to speak to us: that is the basis of our faith. He will not say anything to us other than his Son, his Word, that he will give to us by little mouthfuls, in packages of light. We have a right, that of listening each day to the Lord who speaks to us and guides us. He wants his Word to remain in us; on this condition alone can we bear fruit that will remain for eternal life, "if you remain in me, and my words in you may remain, you may ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done to you. In this way my Father will be glorified, that you will bear much fruit, and you shall become my disciples" (Jn 15:7-8). We need to maintain a living and daily contact with the Word so that it may be active in our lives. People (and I am thinking particularly of those consecrated to God) who do not frequent the Word of God assiduously and on a daily basis let their faith and their dynamism die down, and easily slip away toward a human project and human thoughts. Their joy of living for God and of giving themselves to him, recedes before a lifestyle, which may be very active but where there is no place for God, it is without sap and without light. One's faith is directly proportional to one's contact with the Word of God. As the Psalm says: "Those who look to Yahweh, are radiant" (Ps 34:5). Looking to God means seeing His Face; now, His Face is His Son, the Son who speaks in the Scriptures; His Face can only be seen securely in the Scriptures. This is how the life of God shines forth. Listening to God implies becoming familiar with his way of thinking, getting used to thinking like him, seeing things as he does.


As Carmelites We live our life of allegiance to Jesus Christ and to serve Him faithfully with a pure heart and a clear conscience through a commitment to seek the face of the living God (the contemplative dimension of life), through prayer, through fraternity, and through service (diakonia). These three fundamental elements of the charism are not distinct and unrelated values, but closely interwoven. 

All of these we live under the protection, inspiration and guidance of Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whom we honor as "our Mother and sister."