Memo from MAM – May 21, 2024

MAM Musing
On Sunday, I introduced an abbreviated form of Lectio Divina which loosely translates as Sacred Reading. You may have heard about Lectio before– in a sermon or blog. If not, Lectio Divina is a prayerful approach to a text (poem, scripture, passage) that deepens one’s experience of the words in mind/body/spirit.

Below are instructions that my friend Adam put together several years ago, specifically for Unitarian Universalists. For a more detailed understanding of Lectio from its ancient Christian beginnings, here is a short article by writer Elizabeth Manneh.

Also here is a possible text (used Sunday) for your Lectio practice, utilizing the instructions below. It is part of the poem from Nancy Wood, used during the worship service on Sunday.


Lectio Divina Instructions
Choose a short passage – just a few verses.
Make yourself comfortable.                  Begin with silence.

Lectio (READ): On the first reading, simply open yourself to the words. Read the passage slowly and prayerfully, allowing short pauses between sentences. (Over time you will discover whether it is more helpful for you to read silently or out loud – try them both…) As you read, take in the words and the overall flow of the passage. Then allow a time of silence following the reading – continue to open yourself to the Spirit of Love and Mystery.

Meditatio (REFLECT): On the second prayerful reading of the passage, listen for a particular word or a phrase which speaks to you. You will notice your attention being drawn to something (or if this does not happen, just choose a word). Once you have “received” the word or phrase, begin to silently meditate on that word. Reflect on why this word is highlighted for you today, offer any questions that come to mind, and note things that seem important as you meditate on this word. Remember that the focus is on listening. You might choose to journal on this word. Let yourself follow your associations to the word.

Oratio (RESPOND): On the third prayerful reading of the passage, listen for an invitation and respond from your heart. What might this passage be inviting you to do or to not do? To let go of something, or to take up something; to do something or be something… the invitation can take innumerable forms. Following this reading, continue to listen for an invitation, and respond silently, out loud, or in writing from an honest heart.

Contemplatio (REST): The focus of the fourth prayerful reading of the passage is to simply rest in the words now that they are familiar to you. Let the words wash over you – there is no further need to reflect or respond – allow the Spirit of Love and Mystery to draw you close and fill you with love, grace and peace. Linger in this place of deep connection, as you are filled and refreshed for your continuing journey.

Consider taking a word, phrase or image with you when it is time to return to the day… something to which you can return throughout the day.


May the force be with you,

MAM (Reverend Mary Ann Macklin)

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~ MAM Away Time ~

I will be gone for both Away-Time and Study Leave per my covenant agreement with the congregation and in the spirit of healthy ministry: 

Study Leave: June 17 through July 1 
Preach and Teach July 2 through July 7   
Away: July 8 through August 5
Attend Worship and Teach August 4
Preach Water Communion August 11