The five rungs of prayer
Despite sounding intimidating, lectio divina is a simple and effective way to pray that has been part of the practice of the Catholic faith for millennia.
The first step, lectio, is a slow (snail’s pace) reading of a verse or two of Scripture until a word or phrase in the text grabs you.
Next, in meditatio, like a cow chewing cud, you mull over that word or phrase, meditating on it, considering it, pondering it in your heart.
Our third step is oratio, which means prayer. Now that we have food for thought from God in Scripture we can respond with our prayers.
The fourth step is contemplatio, or contemplation. This is where we quiet our hearts and wait for God. He may speak to us in the quiet of our hearts, or He may use this time to help us grow in silence. This part is dependent on the action of God and we are simply present at this stage.
Finally, Saint Francis de Sales concludes the steps of lectio divina with a fifth step that was not originally part of Guigo’s Ladder for Monks . Resolutio is where we conclude our prayer with a concrete resolution that helps guide our day and continues our spiritual growth through our prayer.