New Take20!! A Resource for Reflection


Why Lectio Divina?

Quotes From The Synod of Bishops on the Word of God

In the Life and Mission of the Church

  • The Word of God is to be the primary source of inspiration in the spiritual life of the Church communities in its many practices, such as spiritual exercises, retreats, devotions and acts of piety. In this matter, an important goal (and criterion of authenticity) of this practice is to make an individual grow in a personal application of his reading of the Word for its sage teaching, its ability to help the Christian discern the realities of life and the reasons for hope contained therein (cf. 1 Pt 3:15), which are fundamental to Christian witness and the pursuit of holiness.
  • The Church’s primary task is to assist the faithful in understanding how to encounter the Word of God under the guidance of the Spirit. In a particular way, she is to teach how this process takes place in the spiritual reading of the Bible; how the Bible, Tradition and the Magisterium are intrinsically joined by the Spirit, and what is required of the believer to be guided by the Holy Spirit received in Baptism and the other sacraments.
  • Above all, the Church should encourage the biblical practice traditionally called lectio divina with its four stages (lectio, meditatio, oratio and contemplatio). This practice was characteristic of the early days of the Church and was present throughout her history. The tradition was originally reserved to monasteries, but today the Spirit, through the Church’s Magisterium, is inspiring the practise among the clergy, parish communities, ecclesial movements, families and the young.
  • St. Jerome observes: “The Lord’s flesh is real food and his blood real drink; this is our true good in this present life: to nourish ourselves with his flesh and to drink his blood in not only the Eucharist but also the reading of Sacred Scripture. In fact, the Word of God, drawn from the knowledge of the Scriptures, is real food and real drink.”
  • The supreme vocation of the Christian is to encounter, pray and live the Word.

New Advent Lectio Divina Journal

Look for a new Lectio Guide for Advent and Christmas 2017!



Pray the Liturgy of the Hours

Latest Lectio Divina Catholic Prayer Journal: Praying The Our Father

Praying The Our Father

Encountering God through the Ancient Tradition of Lectio Divina

The Lord’s Prayer is precious to the Church, given to us by Jesus himself. Yet it can become so familiar to us that, as we recite the words from memory, we forget to meditate on the riches of the truth it contains. Praying The Our Father is designed to help us go deeper in our prayer by providing a practical tool for praying with Holy Scripture using the ancient tradition of lectio divina. A brief introduction to this kind of prayer is followed by a journal-style guide which gives the reader opportunity to pray with carefully chosen short Scripture passages as well as inspirational quotations from the Catechism, Pope Emeritus Benedict, and the saints. This prayer journal is designed for anyone who desires to grow in prayer and draw closer to our Lord.

Praying The Our Father” is the seventh in the Lectio Divina Catholic Prayer Journal Series©. Other volumes include, “Encountering God in Holy Scripture,” “Praying The Mysteries of the Rosary,” “Praying The Stations of the Cross,” “Jesus Christ, the Word Made Flesh,” “Praying with St. Paul,” and “Praying The Apostles’ Creed.”

 Praying the Our Father Front Cover Use This

BLOG Changes Coming!

Much to my great joy, I was received into the Catholic Church last December.  I am working on some revisions to my blog and hope to post them soon.



Newest Prayer Guide on the Psalms of Ascent

Newest Prayer Guide on the Psalms of Ascent

Stalled Spiritual Growth: Conclustion

Conclusion to the series, “Stalled Spiritual Growth” 


In this 3-part series I have addressed:

  1. The problem underlying lack of spiritual growth
  2. The ultimate goal of our spiritual lives
  3. Suggestions for catalyzing growth

Now I would like to suggest that Reflective Prayer  is a wonderful means of catalyzing growth because it brings a needed balance to the different extremes of Christian spirituality today.

Any analysis of the problem of stalled spiritual growth must include a look at two extremes of a continuum that exist within the church today and how Reflective Prayer is relevant to both. (Remember, I am talking about extremes; most of us fall somewhere in-between.) One extreme is represented by those Christians that are very familiar with the Bible but do not pray. They love the Word of God but are cautious about anything that could be labeled “mysticism.” Their faith is intellectually based and their experience of God’s presence is limited. The affective side of their relationship with God may even be avoided. The potential weakness of this group is that they are so busy knowing about God that they fail to have any kind of personal relationship with him. This dilemma can be heard in the words by David Benner, “For many years my knowing of God was primarily a matter of knowing about him. I began to feel dissatisfied with my limited direct experience of God’s presence. I longed to know him personally and experientially, not just know about him.”[1]  This group’s strength is in their knowledge of the Word.

The second extreme among Christians today is represented by people who have an interest in “spirituality” but not one that is informed by Scripture. They may be intrigued by the mystical aspects of religion but lack the biblical roots to discern true Christian spirituality. The potential weakness of this group is to become unbiblical or heterodox in their beliefs and practices. Their strength is in their emphasis on the heart and on experiential knowledge of God.

Interestingly, these two extremes can be seen as loosely representing the nature of Protestant and some Catholic forms of spirituality respectively, although there may be groups that do not fit neatly into this categorization (e.g. Charismatic Protestants may tend to lean toward the second extreme and many Catholics are very biblically oriented).[2] The beauty of Reflective Prayer is that, when properly understood and used, it addresses the weaknesses of both extremes and gives voice to their strengths. Because it is biblically informed, Reflective Prayer sets a solid foundation for prayer and contemplation because they emerge from reading and meditation on the Word. And, because the goal of Reflective Prayer is relationship and communion with God, the affective nature of spirituality is also validated and encouraged to grow. This kind of prayer has stood the test of time, and I believe that it has great potential to be an effective solution to the problem of believers being stalled in their growth.

[1] David G Benner, Sacred Companions: The Gift of Spiritual Friendship and Direction (Downers Grove, IL:  IVP Books, 2002), 30. 

[2] It is impossible as well as undesirable to try to categorize all Christians into a neatly defined position. These two extremes are generalizations for the purpose of making the point that there is a tendency to lean in one direction or the other.

Excerpted in part from my doctoral thesis, Lectio Divina as a Catalyst for Spiritual Growth:  A Case Study Among Mature Believers.

Copyright © 2012 by Katherine Mills Johnson. All Rights Reserved.

Taking It Deeper

1. Where do you fall in the continuum mentioned above?

2. What can you do in your prayer life to strengthen your area of weakness?

Coming up: a 3-part series on What is Scripture-based Reflective Prayer?

TAKE 20 A Soul Care Resource: Humility


Take 20 is designed to be used for 20-30 minutes of prayer and reflection. You will find a collection of quotes, Scriptures, and hymns related to a specific topic. At the end, an opportunity is given to practice Scripture-based  Reflective Prayer.

Click here  to access TAKE20: Humility.  Please feel free to print a copy for personal use!

TAKE 20 A Soul Care Resource: Silence

2 chairs at lake purchased shutterstock_84094621 MEDIUM-001

Take 20 is designed to be used for 20-30 minutes of prayer and reflection. You will find a collection of quotes, Scriptures, and hymns related to a specific topic. At the end, an opportunity is given to practice Scripture-based  Reflective Prayer.

Click here  to access a pdf of Take20: Silence.  Please feel free to print a copy for personal use!