Community Lectio Divina: Song of Songs

With April comes a new invitation for contemplation. In the northern hemisphere, spring is slowly arriving with birdsong and blooming. Wherever we live on this beautiful planet, we can tend to the flowering that happens within after a season of fallowness. The outer seasons become a mirror for our inner experience.

I invite you into a lectio divina practice with some words from one of my favorite biblical books: Song of Songs.

How Community Lectio Divina works:

button-lectioEach month there will be a passage selected from scripture, poetry, or other sacred texts (and occasionally visio and audio divina as well with art and music).

For the year I am choosing an overarching theme of discernment. I feel like the Abbey is in the midst of some wonderful transition, movement, and expansion.

How amazing it would be to discern together the movements of the Spirit at work in the hearts of monks around the world.

I invite you to set aside some time this week to pray with the text below. Here is a handout with a brief overview (feel free to reproduce this handout and share with others as long as you leave in the attribution at the bottom – thank you!)

Lean into silence, pray the text, listen to what shimmers, allow the images and memories to unfold, tend to the invitation, and then sit in stillness.

For see, the winter is past,
the rains are over and gone.

The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of pruning the vines has come,
and the song of the dove is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines, in bloom, give forth fragrance.
Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one,
and come!   —Song of Songs 2:11-13

After you have prayed with the text (and feel free to pray with it more than once – St. Ignatius wrote about the deep value of repetition in prayer, especially when something feels particularly rich) spend some time journaling what insights arise for you.

How is this text calling to your dancing monk heart in this moment of your life?

What does this text have to offer to your discernment journey of listening moment by moment to the invitation from the Holy?

What wisdom emerged that may be just for you, but may also be for the wider community?

Sharing Your Responses

Please share the fruits of your lectio divina practice in the comments below (at the bottom of the page) or at our Holy Disorder of Dancing Monks Facebook group which you can join here. There are over 1300 members and it is a wonderful place to find connection and community with others on this path.

You might share the word or phrase that shimmered, the invitation that arose from your prayer, or artwork you created in response. There is something powerful about naming your experience in community and then seeing what threads are woven between all of our responses.

You can see the full winter/spring 2014 calendar of invitations here>>

Join the Holy Disorder of Dancing Monks Facebook group here>>

*Note: If this is your first time posting, or includes a link, your comment will need to be moderated before it appears. This is to prevent spam and should be approved within 24 hours.

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12 Responses

  1. “the rains are over and gone” is the phrase that sort of jumped out at me during my readings of this poem. Here in the NE region of Ohio, we are in the Springtime of the year where rain brings green grass, flowers growing and all of the area for miles around is refreshed from the rain that has fallen. What usually comes after the rain is the sunshine and for me the “washing of my soul” is alot like the rains falling down on earth, making it refreshed and renewed. We need both the rain and the sunshine to grow and blossom within our spiritual being. Rain and sunshine bring life to all human forms, plants, and living creatures. Just like so many other things in life, we need a balance of rain and sunshine so that each of us can mature into the soul we are met to be. Love this Lectio Divina!

    Thanks for inviting all of us readers to this time of reflection, peace, love and just being one with the Lord.

  2. This is a pruning time for me, and while it’s painful now, I know even more pain is coming. These word were a confirmation that the cut vines will bloom, and eventually bear wonderful fruit, but right now, it’s my pruning time.

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