From God's fullness we have all received, grace upon grace
Shared Lectio Divina, March 2021

Shared Lectio Divina, March 2021

Since April 2020, I have been jointly hosting a shared Lectio group on Tuesday evenings. The following are my reflections only, during the prayer session and as I wrote them up. Please see my separate commentary and leaflet for more information about shared Lectio.

Reflections for 2 March | 9 March | 16 March | 23 March | 30 March | the whole collection

2 March

Gospel reading: Matthew 23.1-12

Words: you are all students


I am always a beginner, always learning, not having the complete answers. See Rilke on living the questions, and eventually living along them into the answers… on the other side of the Jordan with God.

In theory I am a teacher on the MHL, but in practice I simply make a space for the students to live their questions, and I learn as much from them and more.

Even those well advanced in prayer and on their walk with God will write and say that every day they are a beginner. And also that every time they fail or fall is an opportunity to begin again. St Benedict wrote in the Prologue to his Rule of Life: “Begin everything you attempt with the earnest prayer that it will be brought to perfection.”

One day, in God.

9 March

Gospel reading: Matthew 18.21-end

Words: patience … mercy … from you heart


I spent the time in reflection moving around the three words, but I was mostly focusing on the Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, only son of the living God, have mercy on me a sinner” and reflecting on how that mercy has the power to effect change.

When I asked for the gift of patience – the fruit of the Spirit – I know it will come slowly, as mercy works gradually on my heart, to change it from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh, so that I can have patience, and I can forgive, from my heart.

[Subsequent note: It seems that waiting for the gift of patience is in itself a practice in patience.]

16 March

Gospel reading: John 5.1-3, 5-16

I had a very full day so took a week off – this was the first time that the group met without me!

23 March

Gospel reading: John 8.21-30

Words: true … with me


During the reflection time, I wanted something for the heart, not for the head. What popped into my mind was something seemingly foolish – God as a slinky spring. I ran with it as an image of a connection that always holds whether near at hand or at a distance.

Jesus said: “the one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone”. Although the Father had sent Jesus, the Father was still with Jesus. They were still connected.

Likewise, God is always sending me, but always with me. Sometimes I remain near to God and God’s purpose/will for me. Sometimes I wander off. But whenever I do wander off, however, there will always be a way to bounce back. Either I am drawn, or God will follow after me because love is God’s nature.

30 March

Gospel reading: John 12.20-36

Words: single grain


I am a single grain, more than most! I live alone, and I like that. I like my independence and my solitude. It is relatively easy for me. It is also connected to connection; the more solitude I have, the more I am able to reach out at a deeper level.

I always second guess myself though. Is this really what God intends for me, or am I simply following my own inclination? Is it self-indulgence? Perhaps. Then again, why do I always think that God would call me to something difficult, costly, outside my comfort zone, away? Why shouldn’t my path be something I enjoy (and/or am good at)? Then it would make no sense to resist it or to feel guilt over enjoying it. I can simply embrace it.

I don’t need to make life harder than it already is. I suspect that even the things I enjoy and am good at will from time to time have those hallmarks of difficulty. There will be opportunities to die, for example to die to other possibilities that arise during my life. There will be many roads not taken, because I will need to focus.

And honestly? I think this way is already producing fruit. After all, each tree is known by its own fruit.